This website highlights my favorite tortoise species, the Indian star tortoise (Geochelone elegans), Burmese star tortoise (Geochelone platynota), South African angulate tortoise (Chersina angulata), and golden Greek tortoise (typically Testudo graeca terrestris). I keep these species myself and to me they are all stars of the tortoise world. :O)
Star tortoises are gorgeous tortoises named after the attractive star like patterns on their shells. This pattern differs between species and also varies somewhat among the individual tortoises.
The Indian star tortoise (Geochelone elegans) is native to India, a small part of Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Thus, the Indian star tortoise has three geographical variants: northern Indian stars, southern Indian stars, and Sri Lankan stars, but they are all one species. Indian stars may not be the most "outgoing" tortoises as pets, but they are sweet tempered and charming.
The Burmese star tortoise (Geochelone platynota) from Myanmar, formerly Burma, is a distinct species. They are friendly tortoises and tend to be less timid than the Indians stars.
In the wild, star tortoises are endangered due to loss of habitat and illegal collecting. In fact, the Burmese star tortoise is one of the most endangered tortoises in the world. Never obtain wild caught star specimens as pets. Always buy captive bred tortoises.
Young Burmese star tortoise showing his beautiful colors.
The angulate tortoise (Chersina angulata) is a small, beautiful species native to South Africa. Angulates are sometimes called "fighting tortoises" due to the males' intensive desire to joust with each other. They are also known as angulated or bowsprit tortoises. Their dark shells are decorated with dots and triangles. Some individuals are very colorful, while others are more plain brown.
Due to their reputation and history of being problematic to keep and reproduce, angulates are not common in captive collections outside their native land. Captive bred babies are difficult to find, but in the last few years there has been an increased interest in this species among tortoise keepers.
The golden Greek tortoise is one of the more popular varieties of the Greek tortoises. No wonder, many goldens have lovely coloring, delightful personalities, and are easier to keep due their small size. Many goldens are almost patternless, while others have "domino dots" or even more traditional Greek tortoise shell markings. Their beautiful looks and fantastic "outgoing" and less timid personalities have made them well liked.
It’s important to note that the golden Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca ssp) is NOT a species of its own. Rather, the name refers to ANY yellow colored Greek tortoise regardless of its the subspecies. Most goldens tend belong to the Testudo graeca terrestris group, but even individuals of this subspecies vary greatly in color. Some are light and yellow, while others are very dark and not yellow at all.
This website is continuously evolving and is a work in progress. Some of the content may not match exactly how I care for and house my tortoises today. I tend to make small tweaks here and there as time goes on. There's always so much more to learn about tortoises.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll enjoy your visit. :0)
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