African spurred tortoises

African spurred tortoises

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Credit: PASCAL GOETGHELUCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata, also Geochelone sulcata), basking in the heat from a lamp. This tortoise is native to the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. It is herbivorous, feeding on a range of plants. These are young specimens. When fully grown, this tortoise is the third-largest in the world, with adults reaching lengths of 60 to 90 centimetres. These tortoises are at the Pierrelatte crocodile farm (La Ferme aux Crocodiles) in southern France. Founded in 1994, this tourist attraction and research centre maintains a collection of plants, birds, giant tortoises, and over 400 crocodiles. Photographed in 2011.

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