Tortoises inhabit a variety of warm places from deserts to jungles. In the wild, most tortoises have a very short hibernation, as the climate rarely gets too cold. When kept as pets in a cooler climate, hibernation is extended. Their heavy shells make tortoises rather slow and ponderous, though they can be quite active, especially when two males compete for the favours of a female.
Scientific name: Testudinidae
The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.
Tortoises (/ˈtɔːr.təs.ɪz/, Testudinidae) are a family of land-dwelling reptiles in the order Testudines. Like other turtles, tortoises are shielded from predators by a shell. The top part of the shell is the carapace, the underside is the plastron, and the two are connected by the bridge. The tortoise endoskeleton has the adaptation of having an external shell fused to the ribcage. Tortoises can vary in size from a few centimeters to two meters. They are usually diurnal animals with tendencies to be crepuscular depending on the ambient temperatures. They are generally reclusive animals.
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