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Sulcata Tortoise

Order:

Testudines

Family:

Testudinidae

Group:

Centrochelys

Lifespan:

50 to 150 years

Gestation:

8 months, 15 to 30 eggs

Distribution:

North Africa

Habitat:

Desert

Diet:

Grasses and plants

Conservation Status:

Vulnerable

 

Facts

Also known as the African Spurred Tortoise, the Sulcata Tortoise Centrochelys sulcata is the third largest tortoise species in the world, only smaller than the Galapagos and Albrada tortoises.

They are golden brown or yellowish in colour, and are marked by growth marks in each segment of its shell, which become more pronounced as they get older.

They dig intricate tunnel systems to shelter from the heat of the African sun, with the tunnel systems often reaching 10 feet underground! The females also bury their eggs under sand in order to incubate them, but they are very picky, often digging up to 8 nests before choosing where to lay their eggs.

 

 

Did you know?

They are seen as a symbol of virtue, happiness and longevity in the country of Senegal.