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Tortoises (Testudinidae) or land turtles are a family of land-dwelling reptiles of the order of turtles (Testudines). Like their marine cousins, the sea turtles, tortoises are shielded from predators by a shell. The top part of the shell is the carapace, the underside is the plastron, and the two are connected by the bridge. The tortoise has both an endoskeleton and an exoskeleton. Tortoises can vary in size from a few centimeters to two meters. Tortoises are usually diurnal animals with tendencies to be crepuscular depending on the ambient temperatures. They are generally reclusive animals.
A tortise has several diferent habitats it depends on its species many tortoises live in deserts and otheres in wide open spaces where alot of food fruits and leaves can be found for them to feed on.
Most land based tortoises are herbivores, feeding on grazing grasses, weeds, leafy greens, flowers, and some fruits although there are some omnivorous species in this family. Pet tortoises typically require a diet based on wild grasses, weeds and certain flowers. Certain species consume worms or insects and carrion in their normal habitat. Too much protein is detrimental in herbiverous species and has been associated with shell deformities and other medical problems. Cat or dog foods should not be fed to tortoises, as these do not contain the proper balance of nutrients for a reptile. Additionally, it should not be assumed that all captive tortoises can be fed on the same diet. As different tortoise species vary greatly in their nutritional requirements it is essential to thoroughly research the dietary needs of your individual tortoise. The best approach to determining the proper diet is to consult a qualified veterinarian specialising in chelonian care.
Spotted on Aug 11, 2010
Submitted on May 14, 2011