Top 7 African Spurred Tortoise Facts, Classification, Diet

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African Spurred tortoise

We all have seen tortoises in the animated cartoons when we were a child and most of us living in the areas near the jungle might have seen most of them in real life but don’t get to know much about them. Here, I am gonna tell you some facts and features related to tortoises. Today I am going to talk about African spurred tortoise. So, if you are interested in knowing about them stay tuned because you are gonna enjoy it a lot!

Scientific Name Centrochelys sulcata
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Order Testudines
Suborder Cryptodira
Superfamily Testudinoidea
Family Testudinidae
Genus Centrochelys
Species C. sulcata
Diet Herbivores
Lifespan Up to 90 years in wild
Weight 70-100 pounds
Gestation period 60 days
Trophic level Herbivores
Length 18 inches

 African spurred tortoise

This tortoise is also known by the name sulcata tortoise which is derived from its the scientific name Centrochelys sulcate.” It lives around the southern edge of Africa’s Sahara desert. Now let me tell you about its special feature that it inhibits and it lies in its very-giant size, which makes it the third-largest species of tortoise in the world. You would be totally amazed by knowing another fun fact about this tortoise that it is the world’s largest mainland tortoise and the only one extant species in the genus Centrochelys.

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African spurred tortoise classification

Tortoise is classified as “reptiles,” and so is the African spurred tortoise. You might not be familiar with what actually a reptile is and why this tortoise falls under this class? All the animals with dry skin, covered with scales or bony plates and those that lay soft-shelled eggs on land, fall under this class. 

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It belongs to the family Testudinidae and falls in the order Testudines, which means “the turtles.” You might have heard the term turtle and tortoise using interchangeably, but they are not the same in reality. However, Turtles and tortoises fall In a similar category but have very minor differences among them.

African spurred tortoise adaptations

Surviving in a world full of predators and hunters is always a tricky part for animals, whether mammals or reptiles. This tortoise adapts itself in the way to be safe. You will be amazed! To know that It dig burrows underground, which are 30m long and 15m deep in the fight of saving itself from hot temperature, thus digging its burrows deep to approach areas with high moisture levels. That’s why they spend most of their time inside these burrows, which helps them avoid dehydration.

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African spurred tortoise diet

Now, let’s know what this tortoise eats to maintain its healthy diet. Tortoises are herbivores; thus, eating grasses, weeds, leafy greens, flowers, and some fruits are in their blood. Thus this tortoise also consumes all those plants which are high in fiber and low in protein. Cactus pads like plants can also be consumed by them.

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African spurred tortoise size

As I told you earlier about how large this tortoise is now, let’s be specific. Its carapace (dorsal surface) averages 18 inches in length, and it can reach a maximum of 2 to 3 feet. African spurred tortoise weight fully justifies its size, and weighs about 70-100 pounds in adult, and can even weigh up to 200 pounds in a healthy tortoise. 

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African spurred tortoise price

If you are a fan of tortoises and want to buy one, then do not wait anymore. I will tell you about the price at which it is sold and the place where it is sold. So without any wait, let’s move to the point. These tortoises range from $125 to $1299. Of course! They are costly.

As much as its size is concerned, it is sold In both baby size and adult size. Now, where can you buy them? Various online stores are selling them online, or you can also buy them through a personal meeting with a breeder. 

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African spurred tortoise baby

After the rainy season passes, their matting starts and mostly starts in September and ends in November. Surprisingly! they even fight other males to get their breeding rights with females. Their gestation period lasts up to sixty days. Sixty days past their gestation, the female tortoise starts to locate the area best fit for excavating burrow.

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Time taken to dig burrows can be up to five hours. And it sometimes depends on the hardness of the ground. After the digging process is completed successfully, it lays eggs every three minutes. It can lay up to 15-30 eggs. The period of Incubation takes 90 to 120 days and occurs at 86 to 88 F

African spurred tortoise facts

  1.       Let’s move further towards some facts of this tortoise:-
  2.       It is the world’s third and mainland first largest tortoise in the world.
  3.       In its scientific name, sulcata, the last word is derived from the Latin language word sulcus meaning “furrow.”
  4.       Amazingly! tortoises live really, really long and thus It can live up to 90 years of life.
  5.       They are also taken as pets, and their special diets are also sold in the market.
  6.       They can live for weeks without having food and even without water.

African spurred habitat

Most of the tortoise living in this world is found from southern North America to southern South America. This tortoise lives in the Southern edge of Sahara from Senegal and Mauritania through Chad, Sudan, Mali, and Ethiopia as far as Eritrea. It is usually found in hot and arid areas. It can even live in the areas where water supply is not permanent such as dry savannahs to desert fringes.

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Are African spurred tortoise good pets?

Everyone wants to have pets, but keeping pets is not an easy task, especially when it comes to tortoises. Having an African spurred tortoise as a pet can be tough for you as it requires a healthy diet, which costs high.  They are not like other pets with whom u can play with or cuddle.

African spurred tortoise care

Please give them a diet of grasses and grass hay. African spurred tortoise baby diet is different from the adult one. The baby tortoise should be fed daily and often 3 times a week. Overeating them could be harmful as they are not used to it. African spurred tortoise bath is also important. While kept indoors, it’s good for them to be soaked in a shallow water bath to their chin for 15-30 minutes, usually twice a week. 

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African spurred behavior

Mostly tortoise typically has a very calm & peaceful nature and somehow shy. Surprisingly! This case is inversed when two male tortoises confront each other. They become extremely aggressive against each other and even attack each other and tries to flip each other, which sometimes results in serious injury. They can even bite by the use of beaks. 

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African spurred bedding

Bedding is a material used by animals to support their bodies, thus reducing pressure on the skin while resting. While inside the house, substrates where this tortoise lives, grows, and obtains its nourishment, includes coconut coir, soil % coconut coir mix, peat moss, and organic soil.

Substrates are actually available in different varieties, so it totally depends on you which one you prefer. However, chip type substrates include cypress mulch and coconut husk chips.

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