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Leopard Tortoise South African basic information

The fourth largest tortoise found in the world today, the South African Leopard Tortoise can reach up to 23 inches in carapace length. Male South African Leopard Tortoises usually get larger than females. The Leopard Tortoise's shell is usually marked with dark blotches and pale areas, either very large and separated or closer together. Geochelone pardalis babcocki, the variety of Leopard Tortoise most often found in captivity, has a rounded and highly domed carapace, while the South African Leopard, Geochelone pardalis pardalis, has a less domed and more elongated shell. South African Leopard Tortoises also typically have "freckling", tiny irregular spots, on their skin. Freckling is most evident on hatchlings and younger individuals and often fades as the animal ages. Hatchling South African Leopard Tortoises will often show a pattern that is commonly called "twin-spotting" - two spots within one or more carapace scutes. These spots fade as the tortoise grows and ages. The degree of twin-spotting differs among individuals and Some South African Leopard Tortoises do not have any twin-spots. Even within a single clutch some may exhibit twin-spotting, while others do not.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Leopard_Tortoise_South_African".
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