Animal Facts

Elongated Tortoise

Scientific Name: Indotestudo elongata

Fast Fact:

During the breeding season, both males and females develop a bright pink coloring around their eyes and nostrils.

Elongated Tortoise

The elongated tortoise is in great demand in Asian food markets. Consequently, this animal is in serious trouble in the wild with conservation laws not being adequately enforced.

STATUS: The elongated tortoise is listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

HABITAT: The elongated tortoise is widely spread in Asia, ranging from Nepal in the north to Malaysia in the south. Since they are found in such a large area, their habitat preference may vary from area to area. However, the tortoises appear to prefer damp forests although they can also be found in dry areas.

DIET: Elongated tortoises are omnivores (plant and animal eaters) who munch on fruits, flowers, leafy greens, worms, slugs, and carrion.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Typically about 12 inches long and seven pounds in weight as an adult, this is a medium-size tortoise. While their carapaces, or top shells, are somewhat elongated – as their name suggests – female elongated tortoises are generally wider and more rounded than males. Males have a concave plastron (lower shell) while females’ are flat. Other differences between males and females are that males have a larger tail while females have longer and more curved hind claws; possibly to aid in nest building. The anterior (front) parts of their front legs are covered with protective large scales. Carapace coloring ranges from caramel to dark yellowish brown, with black blotches on each scute, or bony scale. During the breeding season, both males and females develop a bright pink coloring around their eyes and nostrils.

Crep What?

Elongated tortoises are crepuscular, meaning that they are active in the twilight hours before dawn or after sunset. The animals’ large eyes are well-adapted to low levels of light.   

Activity during the rainy season turns towards courtship, in which the male will ram the female and bite her roughly on the head, neck and front legs before mating. Several months later, the female uses her hind claws to dig a flask-shaped nest in the soft, damp soil about six to eight inches deep. She then lays two to four large eggs in the opening, replaces the soil with her back legs and flattens it with her plastron. The eggs will hatch in 130-190 days.  In captivity, these tortoises typically lay three clutches a season. 

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