Top 5 Asian Forest Tortoise Facts, Size, Lifespan

Asian forest tortoise

These tortoises due to their brown colored, shiny skin are famous in the world as Asian brown tortoise, as it can be clearly seen from its professional name, these beautiful, adorable species of tortoise belong to Southeast Asia. In the lingo of science, it is known as “Manouria emys”I personally felt its name a little girlish, but it’s cute though. It is sometimes also referred to as Burmese black tortoise. Let’s dig into some exciting facts, and features of this tortoise. Pick a cup of coffee, and don’t go away!

Asian forest tortoise classification

Lets have a look at its classification: 

Scientific NameManouria emys
Order Testudines
SpeciesM. emys
Diet Herbivores
Lifespan Up to 150 years.
Weight20 to 37 kg.
Incubation period 63 to 84 days.  
Trophic levelHerbivores
Length 50 to 60 cm.

Asian forest tortoise physical appearance

These tortoises along with their unique name have a very beautiful, and eye-catching body. Their carapace surface is not really dome-shaped, but slightly flattened, and depressed. It has a moderately-sized head, and their shell has slightly dusky colored spots mixed up beautifully with the color of the plastron. Overall, their body color is seen to be dusky brownish and somehow matches with the sand color.

Asian forest tortoise size

It currently has two known subspecies, Asian brown & Burmese brown. Both of these subspecies differ in size. They can easily be recognized by finding out the larger one. Usually, the Burmese brown tortoise is the larger of the two. It can achieve a length of 60 centimeters, while the Asian brown tortoise has a length of 50 cm

Asian forest tortoise 1

Asian forest tortoise weight

Just like their sizes, two subspecies’ weights also differ. Burmese brown has more weight than the Asian brown. How big do Asian forest tortoises get? These tortoises are the giant tortoises of the mainland. Burmese brown can weigh up to 37 kilograms.

On the other hand, Asian brown can weigh up to 20 kilograms. However, that’s not a rule of thumb. Of course, they weigh more when they grow to the maximum size. Also, male tortoises have more extensive and thicker tails than females.

Asian forest tortoise facts

Let’s see some up to the marked facts of these tortoises. Stay tuned!

  1. These tortoises are unique as they are the largest tortoise species in the mainland.
  2. These tortoises, unlike all other tortoises, lay their eggs on the ground inside a beautifully architected leaf litter and do not dig any burrows for egg-laying.
  3. Based on molecular and morphological studies, these tortoises are demonstrated as the most primitive of living tortoises.  
  4. Mother tortoises put forth a lot of effort to save its hatchlings from predators, and thus act as a security guard when eggs are being incubated. 

Asian forest tortoise diet

Tortoises have most of the diet in common whether it is a giant tortoise or a smallest tortoise. However, slight differences may occur due to their distinctive habitats. This tortoise being herbivores eats mainly on grasses, fruits, vegetables, weeds, leafy greens, etc. They are also spotted eating animal matter, mostly invertebrates and amphibians. 

What to feed your Asian forest tortoise?

Feeding your tortoise is the thing that worries you most because healthy food means a healthy, and active, and sharp pet. Thus don’t worry about feeding them anymore, here I am sharing a sort of recipe with which your cute tortoise would fall in love!

These tortoises are mostly browsers and generalist scavengers. Thus it’s essential to feed them fresh food at least thrice a week. Yes! It’s the key ingredient of the recipe, and thus can’t be skipped. Now, let’s talk about what exactly are the ingredients of the recipe. The primary diet could be made of mustard, leafy greens, turnip, collard greens, kale and dandelion, and some fruit material. Now let’s add some topping for the finishing. Sprinkling the food with vitamin and calcium supplements would make a perfect dish to serve your pet. Do not keep on using the same recipe each month, try to manipulate some components, and add up some new ones.

Asian forest tortoise lifespan

Giant tortoises are the tortoises that live the most; this tortoise is the fourth largest tortoise can live up to 150 years of life. Thus, it has a very, very long life period. Unfortunately, these tortoises are facing a decline in their population. Let’s look at those factors with an eagle eye!

Asian forest tortoise 2

Population threat

A worse threat to their population is habitat destruction. It’s like a sort of nightmare for them. Illegal pet trade, predation, road kills, and hunting also plays their role side by side. Unfortunately, They are currently declared as a vulnerable species. 


Walking on a wrong road is like giving a predator a chance to crack its neck. However, these tortoises have adopted several tactics to remain safe from the eagle eye, and foxy mind of their potential predators. They come out of their nest in twilight hours and cover up their whole body inside the shell whenever it feels dangerous. Major predators include canids, tigers, foxes, lizards, birds, and lastly humans. 

Asian forest tortoise habitat

Most of these tortoises are found in habitats that remain moist due to the monsoon rains. The best comfortable temperature for this tortoise is 13 to 29 degrees Celsius. 60% to 100% humidity level is preferred by most of the tortoises. It prefers to live in the highland tropical forests. Interestingly, these tortoises remain calm for most of the time, even in danger, they walk at slow speed. They are also spotted soaking in nearby streams, and pools. Asian forest tortoise mating

Their mating behavior is fascinating; the way the male bobs up his head to chase the female for attention is commendable. However, females remain in attitude and do not respond. Another interesting behavior is observed in m

ales, they extend their heads, and necks fully, and keep pointed towards the potential mate. It would not be authentic to say exactly in which month they start to breed.

Asian forest tortoise Jual baby

After the breeding is done, and the mother tortoise can lay down eggs, it searches for the perfect place where the nest is to be made. The female mother, being an expert architect, made a nest beautifully designed with leaves. Nesting is made on the ground, and not under the ground, I repeat on the ground, it rings a bell in mind, how difficult it is for the mother tortoise to prevent its eggs from predators. The incubation period usually lasts for 63 to 84 days in captivity, in the wild it Is unknown. 21 to 53 eggs are hatched, again in captivity under captive breeding. 

Asian forest tortoise as a pet

These tortoises have been famous as excellent family pets, and if you want to go for this tortoise, don’t think anymore, get it. However, make one think sure before owning it, that you fully commit to it. Baby tortoises are seen to be shy, and aggressive behavior is seen in adult tortoises during mating. But that’s unusual. Don’t worry; you can make it to your friend if you take proper care of it.

Asian forest tortoise price

One thing that matters the most is the price, price is always charged more for giant tortoise, and even more for mother tortoises, but less for hatchlings. Thus, it’s totally up to yours, which one you want to go for. If you are a first-time tortoise pet owner, then I would recommend you to go for an adult as it’s much easier to care for than the baby one. On average, these tortoises are sold for $500.

Asian forest tortoise 3

Asian forest tortoise care

If you are arranging an indoor enclosure for your pet, I would suggest you fill it up with natural plants and grasses, design it in a way to match it to its native habitat as much as you can. A substrate made of peat moss, fir, and sphagnum would prove comfortable. An ultraviolet light inside the enclosure is a bonus. Basking light with a hot spot of 85 degrees Fahrenheit is essential in the winter season. 

You May Also Like

About the Author: Zoological world

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: