Star Tortoises .net

StarTortoises.net

Star Tortoise Markings

Shell patterns in Burmese stars

Burmese star tortoises (Geochelone platynota) do not develop new radiating lines as they grow. What you see is what you get. WYSIWYG. :O) The number of lines in the shell patterns varies little among adult tortoises. The thickness of the lines does vary though. Some adult Burmese stars have thinner, straight lines, and some have thicker, widening lines. The wider lines are known as a flower petal or fan pattern.

Burmese star tortoise (Geochelone platynota) babies

Two Burmese star tortoise babies of different ages. The older one weighs 55 g and the younger one 28 g. The six point star pattern is clear even in the little one. The number of lines in the pattern does not increase with age like it does in Indian stars.

Geochelone platynota, Burmese star tortoises

The shape and thickness of the lines on the carapace varies among individuals. These two Burmese stars are brothers, but do not look alike. The one on the right has much more "fanning" (flower petal shape) in his pattern.

Burmese star tortoise (Geochelone platynota)  adult female

Adult Burmese star tortoise with a fully developed fan pattern.

Burmese star tortoise (Geochelone platynota) hatchling

Freshly hatched Burmese star tortoise. The plastron markings haven't developed yet.

baby Burmese Ssar tortoise plastron

Little older Burmese star tortoise baby. The plastron now has dark blotches along with some stripes.

Burmese star tortoise (Geochelone platynota) plastron

Subadult female Burmese star tortoise. No star patterns, like on Indian stars, on the plastron, but clearly defined triangular blotches of dark color.

adult Burmese star tortoise plastron pattern

Adult male Burmese star tortoise with dark, triangular patches and some dark lines.

Shell patterns in Indian stars

Indian / Sri Lankan star tortoises (Geochelone elegans) develop more radiating lines as they grow. On babies, new lines start out as little, yellow spots. The number, size, and shape of lines in the shell patterns varies a lot among adults.

baby Indian star tortoise Geochelone elegans

Indian star tortoise baby weighing 23 grams. He has only few radiating lines (mostly 4 on vertebral scutes). Soon, new growing lines will start as little dots or short dashes. Photo courtesy of Kelly Hewitt, U.K.

Indian star tortoise Geochelone elegans

Same Indian star tortoise as above three years later at 245 grams. Beautiful. The number of radiating lines has increased noticeably, up to 9 on vertebral scutes at this point. Photo courtesy of Kelly Hewitt, U.K.

juvenile Sri Lankan star tortoise

Indian / Sri Lankan star tortoises have beautiful star burst patterns on their plastrons as well. You can already see it on this juvenile Sri Lankan star.

adult Geochelone elegans plastron

Same Sri Lankan star tortoise as above as an adult with a fully developed belly pattern. Indian / Sri Lankan stars have beautiful star patterns on the top and bottom.

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