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Indian Star Tortoise

Indian Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans) at the Houston ZooIndian Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans) at Newport AquariumColchester ZooIndian Star Tortoise (Geochelone Elegans)Eleven Indian Star Tortoises feeding at a zooIndian Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans)
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Indian Star 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
Genus:
A group of animals within a family
Geochelone
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 (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
20cm - 30cm (8in - 12in)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
1.3kg - 2.2kg (3lbs - 4.9lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
0.5km/h (0.3mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
30 - 80 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Solitary
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Threatened
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Green, Black, Brown, Tan, Yellow
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Scales
Favourite Food:Grasses
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Dry scrub forest
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laif at once
7
Main Prey:Grasses, Fruits, Flowers
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Birds, Reptiles, Humans
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal
High domed, star patterned protective shell

Indian Star Tortoise Location

Map of Indian Star Tortoise Locations
Map of Asia

Indian Star Tortoise

The Indian star tortoise is a medium sized species of tortoise found in the dry and arid forests of both Indian and Sri Lanka. The Indian star tortoise is named for the star-like patterns on it's high-domed shell which are distinctive to both species of star tortoise (the other being the critically endangered Burmese star tortoise, found in the deciduous forests of Burma).

As it's name suggests the Indian star tortoise is found across the Indian sub-continent, more specifically, the Indian star tortoise is found in the central and Southern parts of India, in West Pakistan and in Sri Lanka. The Indian star tortoise is most commonly found in semi-arid scrub forest, along with thorny and grassland habitats, where there is plenty of vegetation both to hide in and munch on.

Due to the very distinctively marked, and highly rounded shell of the Indian star tortoise, this species of tortoise has become a popular pet in the world's exotic pet trade. Indian star tortoises are of a medium size, with the average adult rarely growing to more than 30 cm in length. The protective shell of the Indian star tortoise also acts in the same to the shells of other tortoise species, allowing the Indian star tortoise to draw it's vulnerable head and limbs into it's shell for protection.

The attractive star-like patterns on the shell of the Indian star tortoise actually help the tortoise to blend into it's surroundings more easily, as well as looking very pretty. The distinctively marked shell of the Indian star tortoise, actually breaks up the hard line of it's shell when it is grazing, making this reptile not so obvious to passing predators.

Like many other species of tortoise around the world, the Indian star tortoise is a herbivorous animal that has a purely vegetarian diet. The Indian star tortoise browses in the dry forests of the Indian sub-continent in search of a wide variety of plant life from leaves, to fruits and berries and numerous different species of flower that are found growing in such arid environments.

Despite it's hard and protective outer shell, the Indian star tortoise is successfully preyed upon by a number of other animals in their native habitats. Large birds of prey and other reptiles such as snakes are the most common predators of the Indian star tortoise along with humans that have both hunted the tortoise for food, as well capturing them for the exotic pet trade and moving in on their native habitats.

The Indian star tortoise begins its mating season with the coming of the monsoon, so the exact time is dependent on the area in which the individual lives. Female Indian star tortoise lay an average of 7 eggs per clutch although, this can be as many as 10. The Indian star tortoise is known to be difficult to be breed in captivity and so should only be attempted by experience breeders.

Today, the Indian star tortoise has been listed as Least concern which means that allow this species is not under immediate threat from extinction, population numbers are falling across much of the Indian star tortoise's native range thanks to habitat loss and the introduction of other predators to their natural habitats.

Indian Star Tortoise Comments

suggu
"It is a nice page."
annezalea idor
"Why are they not being listed for possible endangerment"
himanshu
"i hav 1 star turtle"
Abby
"Very good info.! I love it!"
Lacy
"Very helpful"
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First Published: 9th August 2010, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 09 Aug 2010]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 09 Aug 2010]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 09 Aug 2010]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 09 Aug 2010]

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