African spurred tortoise: characteristics and photos

African spurred tortoise: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata), also called...

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

The spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata), also called sulcata tortoise, spurred tortoise or savannah tortoise, is a beautiful animal that must be taken care of and that must be respected both in nature and outside. the House. It is currently in a threatened state of conservation, and it is for this reason that it is very important that all specimens last and can offer their benefits to the land to which they belong.

These types of turtles are accepted as pets for their tranquility and their beautiful silhouette.But adopting a spurred tortoise must be more than an exotic whim, it is a living being which, due to its wild state, must receive the necessary care and be supported by the person who owns it for the 40 years that it can to be brought to life.


  • Africa

Origin of the African spurred tortoise

The spurred tortoise inhabits a good part of the territory of the Maghreb, North Africa and Egypt, as well as the southern edge of the Sahara desert. Currently, it only lives in national parks and wildlife reserves.

Its own freedom is threatened due to the urbanization of their natural habitat, desertification, agriculture and grazing. Another risk factor that threatens the life of the African spurred tortoise is its use in the local diet of the population as well as for uses in traditional medicine.

Spurred Tortoise Physical Appearance

The African spurred tortoise displays dark, earthy colors, protecting its flesh from predators. The skin is covered with scales which are raised on the legs. It has two large spurs on the posterior aspect of the femoral region - which explains one of the names given to it. The spurred tortoise's carapace can reach 85 centimeters in length and its weight can increase up to 100 kilograms in adulthood if it is in a spacious habitat and has the correct diet. Its beak is robust and strong.

It is the largest native turtle that inhabits the African continent. Its size is surpassed only by the Galápagos and Seychelles tortoises.

Spurred Tortoise Behavior

It is a turtle with a lot of energy, since it is usually very active at times of the day when it is cooler, the rest of the time it remains at rest in a burrow, thus trying to avoid the energy expenditure of walking in the sun.It needs ample space to roam and explore, as they are solitary and territorial animals. It is a strong and resistant species, adapted to the heat and to daily movements for food.

Although with members of the same species they tend to be aggressive and territorial, they accept animals of other species of the same kind and into the human household without problem.

Spurred Tortoise Feeding

The spurred tortoise is a terrestrial and herbivorous tortoise, whose diet is of great importance for maintaining its he alth. Indeed, the males can weigh up to 100 kilograms, so the food we provide them will be essential for their proper development.

The diet of these turtles should be high in fiber and calcium. The foods that should make up the diet are fresh grass, hay, vegetables, fleshy vegetables and fruits.Calcium is of great importance for its shell, for this reason in most cases it will be necessary to add calcium supplements to its diet, although it is always advisable to consult food and nutritional supplements with a veterinarian specializing in exotic animals.

If you want to learn more about the foods prohibited for tortoises, we invite you to continue reading with our article on the subject.

Life in captivity of the African spurred tortoise

There is no problem with having a African spurred tortoise in captivity, but of course, certain minimum conditions must be met for it to live properly:

  • The minimum temperature they need is 20ºC for adults and 25ºC for young turtles. They also need hot spots where these temperatures vary between 35ºC and 40ºC.
  • In summer, this warm environment is achieved naturally, but in winter, it will be necessary to reach the indicated temperature by means of infrared bulbs.
  • Spurred tortoises need daily exposure to the sun, it's not enough for sunlight to pass through translucent glass, but they need to be outside and that contact takes place. produce directly.
  • Because of the large size they can reach, it will be equally important that they have a house of adequate dimensions to shelter in

If you want to adopt a turtle, we recommend that you first read our article on The turtle as a pet.

Spurred Tortoise Diseases and Care

Like any other animal, spurred tortoises require certain care and go to the veterinarian for relevant examinations at least once a year as a control and in order to prevent any disease.This species will require a stool analysis once or twice a year to check for the presence and infestation of parasites. When faced with signs of lack of appetite, altered activity, shell changes, trauma, or secretion of bodily fluids, a visit to the veterinarian should be taken to rule out illness.

It needs large amounts of food as well as space to move around and rest. During the spring and summer months, she can live outdoors without any problems. On the other hand, in autumn as in winter, when it is cold, she must have a large heated room, because the lack of light, heat and excess humidity can seriously harm her he alth.

Pictures of Spurred Tortoise

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!