Greetings friends and welcome to this week’s blog. Today we are talking about yet another animal that most people wouldn’t consider but is almost always available by request. That’s the African Spur-thigh Tortoise. Let’s kick a few facts about the shell backs shall we?

This tortoise is a native of the Savannas and Saharan desert in Africa. They eat grasses, desert scrub and get their water from the plants that they eat, they’re really fond of the Morning Glory plant. A tortoise is a land dwelling reptile that has both a skeleton and an exoskeleton in the form of its shell. Here’s a great way to tell the difference between a tortoise and a turtle.  A turtle will have webbed flipper style feet better suited for swimming, and a tortoise will have claws with more stumpy appendages.

Tortoises With Climate Colored Shells

Tortoises with lighter shells come from warmer climates and ones with darker shells come from cooler environments. There are about 40 different types of tortoises. The Aldabra and Galapagos Tortoises are the largest of the species and can weigh up to and over 600 pounds. You can also tell the approximate age of a tortoise by counting the rings on the scutes (individual shell plates).

The spur thigh mates just after the rainy season between September and November. After about 2 months of gestation, the female lays 15 to 30 eggs. Then she fills her nest in with dirt and the babies hatch in about eight months.

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