African Spurred Tortoise/Sulcata Tortoise, Spurred Tortoise, Spur Thigh Tortoise - FaunaClassifieds
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:22 AM   #1
African Spurred Tortoise/Sulcata Tortoise, Spurred Tortoise, Spur Thigh Tortoise

The African Spurred Tortoise, also known as the Sulcata Tortoise, is the third largest tortoise in the world, with only the giant Galapagos and Aldabra Tortoises being larger.

Sulcata Tortoises are native to the southern Sahara Desert, a region that consists of Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Chad, and Sudan. Very little is known about their habits in the wild, as most Sulcatas are observed only in captivity. Sulcatas are herbivores and, in the wild, get most of their food from dried grasses and leaves. They sometimes have to travel long distances, grazing all the time, to get their fill, as food is very scarce in the semi-arid region in which they live. They have a sweet tooth, and enjoy treats such as apples and other fruits, though all fruits should be given sparingly as they can cause diarrhea. They are solitary animals, probably because it takes a great deal of the scarce food available to feed the large tortoise. Sulcatas prefer to live in warm, dry areas with lots of sunlight. They do not hibernate as many other desert tortoises do, as the region in which they live does not experience the extreme cold temperatures of some other deserts. They are very strong animals and can move just about anything that is not nailed down. The male tortoise will often ram the female, which produces a thunderous sound. In the wild, Sulcatas spend 85% of their time in burrows. It is very important to mimic the natural environment of the Sulcata Tortoise as closely as possible. Though the average lifespan of the Sulcata is approximately 80 years, they can live 100 years with proper care.

Sulcata Tortoises are very large animals. They can weigh over 200 pounds and can reach up to 36 inches in length. Like other tortoises, they are very long lived.

Very little is known about the natural history of the Sulcata Tortoise. Their scientific name is Geochelone sulcata. This tortoise is often called the "Spur Thigh Tortoise", but this is actually not correct. The Spur Thigh Tortoise is a common name for the Greek Tortoise.
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