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Quick Facts
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Family: Testudinidae
Genus: Geochelone
Species: elegans

Length: 6 - 12 inches
Incubation: 110 days
Offspring: 5 - 7

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Indian Star Tortoise

Geochelone elegans

The Indian star tortoise gets its name from the radiating star patterns on its shell. Each star is centered on a pyramidal bump on the shell. The female tortoise is larger and has a bumpier shell than the male. The Indian star tortoises shell is a grayish brown with golden to golden brown star patterns. This coloration blends in with the surroundings in which they live and breaks up the shell shape when they are among tufts of grass.

The Indian star tortoise is a herbivoreWhat does herbivore mean? and primarily eats grass. It will also eat cactus, flowers, and fruits. The foods that they eat are the drier foods. Foods such as lettuce have too much water.

The Indian star tortoise inhabits semi-arid lowland forests and grasslands in Southern and Central India. They can also be found in areas that have monsoon seasons. The Indian star tortoise has a higher tolerance for water than any other tortoise in its genus.

Male Indian star tortoises are aggressive towards one another. They are also aggressive towards females in the breeding season.

Female Indian star tortoises lay 5 to 7 eggs in a hole dug in the ground and covered by soil. They lay a clutch anywhere from 3 to 9 times a year. Young star tortoises will often have to wait after hatching for a rainstorm to loosen the soil enough for them to leave.

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