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Yurtle – African Sulcata Tortoise

The African Sulcata Tortoise, or African Spurred Tortoise, is surpassed in size only by the giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands and Seychelles. Not only do these tortoises grow very large, they grow very rapidly – up to two and a half feet long and 80-110 pounds or more. Distinct features of these huge creatures include sandy-ivory or golden yellow-brown skin and two or more very large and prominent tubercles (or spurs) on the rear legs. African Sulcatas are from the hot, arid regions of the Sub-Sahara, and do not do well in damp, wet, or cold conditions. In the wild Sulcatas "aestivate" which means they go underground for months at a time in periods of intolerable heat and drought. The burrows are cooler and supply enough humidity to prevent the tortoise from dehydrating during this extended period. Aestivating is not hibernating, which is winter dormancy characterized by lowered blood pressure and respiration rate. Both male and female Sulcatas can be aggressive. When males reach maturity (roughly 14 inches in carapace length) they will ram into other males and attempt to flip them over. Therefore housing more than one male together should be avoided. Sulcatas are active and like to burrow, climb and roam about, often in search of food.

Source: Pet Education