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Home > Tortoises > Sulcata Tortoise

Sulcata Tortoise

Sulcata tortoise is world’s third largest tortoise and the biggest species of mainland continental tortoise. It is the only species in its genus found in southern tip of the Sahara desert in North Africa. As sulcata means furrow, the species derives its name from having deep furrows on its outer shell.



    Kingdom Animalia
    Phylum Chordata
    Class Sauropsida
    Order Testudines
    Suborder Cryptodira
    Family Testudinidae
    Genus Centrochelys
    Scientific Name Centrochelys sulcata


    Other Names African Spurred Tortoise
    Size Around 83 cm
    Weight Around 105 kg
    Distribution Sahara desert, Sahel regions of Burkina Faso, Chad,  Ethiopia, Mali, Eritrea,  Nigeria, Senegal, Mauritania, Sudan
    Habitat Burrows
    Diet Herbivores (consists of variety of grasses and plants)
    Hibernation Fact Undergoes aestivation
    Predators Opossums, raccoons, dogs, cats
    Breeding Season September – November
    Mode of Reproduction Oviparous (egg laying)
    Clutch Size 15 to 30 or more eggs
    Incubation Period 90 to 120 days
    Reproductive Age Around 5 to 6 years in captivity in case of males and 7 to 8 years in case of females in captivity
    Average Lifespan Around 50 to 150 years or more
    IUCN Conservation Status Vulnerable

    Sulcata Tortoise Pictures Gallery

    Published on October 5th 2016 by under Tortoises. Article was last reviewed on 1st April 2017.

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