Ploughshare tortoise

Ploughshare tortoise

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Credit: SID BAHRT/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ploughshare tortoise. Ploughshare tortoise or angonoka (Geochelone yniphora). This highly endangered reptile is only found in the dry forests of north-western Madagascar. It is named because its plastron, part of its lower shell which extends between its front legs, resembles a plough. The plastron is used by males in fights over mating rights. Ploughshare tortoise are herbivorous, foraging during the morning and late afternoon. They have become endangered due to the clearing of their forest habitat for agricultural land, predation of their eggs and young by bush pigs introduced from mainland Africa and the illegal pet trade.

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Keywords: angonoka, animal, endangered species, geochelone yniphora, madagascar, nature, plastron, ploughshare, ploughshare tortoise, reptile, reptilia, slow, tortoise, type, wildlife, zoology

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