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Indian Star Tortoise - What a Pretty Shell

indian star tortoise salad time


The Indian star tortoise is a species of tortoise (which also makes it a reptile and turtle) with a peculiar shell. It is most commonly found in the dry areas, scrub forests, arid forests, arid grasslands, and brushes of India, more specifically in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Although a land reptile, it needs plenty of water so it is especially happy and active during the monsoon season.





The species get its name from the star-like pattern on its shell, and somewhat bright coloration. This pattern is specific only to this species, and one of its near extinct relatives. This pattern and its medium size (it only grows to be about 12 inches, or 30 centimeters long) have made it a popular exotic pet. Its beautiful lumpy shell serves not only to make the Indian star tortoise stand out, but also to help it blend in to its surroundings and hide from predators. It's also believed that the high peak of the shell has been evolved to help the tortoise get back to its feet when flipped over.




Like most tortoises, the Indian star tortoise is a herbivore and lives only off of ingested vegetation. It often eats leaves, plants, fruits, berries, and flowers. So if it grows and is on the ground, the Indian star tortoise will eat it. Even though it has the ability to hide in its shell when threatened, the poor tortoise still finds itself somewhat easy prey for lard birds, snakes, and other common predators, including humans, who capture them for both food, and for the purpose of sale in the aforementioned exotic pet trade. Since the tortoises are very hard to breed in captivity, hunters must go out and pluck them from the wild. Despite this hunting, it still has a strong population.






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