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Tortoise


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Tortoise
A Pancake Tortoise at Colchester Zoo
Tortoise
Tortoise
Tortoise
The tortoises is a land-dwelling reptile closely related to the tortoise's marine cousin, the sea turtle. The tortoise is found in many countries around the world but particularly in the southern hemisphere where the weather is warmer for most of the year.

Tortoises have a hard outer shell to protect them from predators but the skin on the legs, head and belly of the tortoise is quite soft so the tortoise is able to retract it's limbs into it's shell to protect itself. The tortoise's shell can range in size from a few centimetres to a couple of metres, depending on the species of tortoise.

Most species of tortoise have a herbivorous diet eating grasses, weeds, flowers, leafy greens and fruits.Tortoises generally have a lifespan similar to the lifespan of humans although some species of tortoise, like the giant tortoise, have known to be over 150 years old.

There are many different species of tortoise around the world that vary in size, colour and diet. Most species of tortoise however are diurnal but in places where it is very hot throughout the day, tortoises will often venture out to find food in the cooler dawn and dusk periods.

Female tortoises dig burrows, known as nesting burrows, in which the female tortoise lays her eggs. The female tortoise can lay between one and thirty eggs at a time but the number is generally around 10 and only a handful of the babies tend to survive as tortoise babies are very vulnerable to attack by all kinds of predators.

Once the female tortoise has laid her eggs she leaves the nesting burrow. The eggs hatch between 2 and 4 months later and the baby tortoises are able to start venturing out in search of food when they are about a week old. The size of the baby tortoise and the egg, depends on the size of the mother tortoise.

Today, a number of tortoise species (mainly the smaller species of tortoise) are kept as household pets. The pet tortoise ideally prefers to live in the garden or part of a vegetable patch where there is lots of food for the tortoise to eat. Pet tortoises should have a diet similar to what it would be if the tortoise was in the wild and should not be fed other foods such as cat or dog food.

Most species of tortoise, but not all, hibernate during the colder winter months particularly those species of tortoise in the Northern Hemisphere. Tortoises must have an empty stomach before they hibernate and therefore tend to go through a period of starvation beforehand. Tortoises come out of hibernation when the weather begins to get warmer again.


Tortoise Comments (17)

one eyed one horned flying purple people eater

"oooooooooooooo tortoises! I wonder if there related to the box turtle "

Prince William

"trrtles oooh pretty"

harry potter

"i never noo trtles were so kool"

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Tortoise Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things...
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum...
Reptilia
Order:
A group of animals within a class...
Testudines
Family:
A group of animals within an order...
Testudinidae
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Geochelone Elegans
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to...
Reptile
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Herbivore
Size:
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
6-120cm (2.4-47in)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
0.1-300kg (0.2-661lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
0.5km/h (0.3mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
30-150 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Solitary
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Endangered
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Grey, Brown, Black, Yellow, Green
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Scales
Favourite Food:Grass
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives...
Sandy soil close to water
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
5
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Grass, Weeds, Leafy greens
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Fox, Badger, Coyote
Special Features:Slow movement and hard, protective body shell

Related Animals

Galapagos TortoiseGalapagos Tortoise
The biggest species of tortoise in the world!
River TurtleRiver Turtle
Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!
Sea TurtleSea Turtle
Always return to the same beach to lay eggs!
Snapping TurtleSnapping Turtle
Only found in North America!
Desert TortoiseDesert Tortoise
Lives in burrows underground!