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Asia has a very broad spectrum of species of tortoises from all sorts of unique, ancient and unique species of tortoises throughout the regions of Asia. Within the Asiatic regions there are 3 genus, Indotestudo, Manouria and Geochelone and 9 species of tortoises. A vast majority of Southeast Asian species of tortoises are severely threatened and endangered due to poaching, consumption, collection for pet trade, and religious sacrament.
Indotestudio comes from ‘Indo’ for India and ‘testudo’ for turtle. As the name implies, these tortoises are from southern Asia, if not always specifically India. They are forest and omnivorous tortoises, much like the red-footed. It probably originally ranged throughout southern India and southeast Asia, but like other species (also such as the red-footed) saw its habitat become fragmented as the climate in the region changed over time. All three species are under pressure from hunting (as food and for the pet trade) as well as habitat loss. Besides that, they are an ingredient in a concoction used by oriental men to restore ‘vitality’- a dangerous status for many species around the world. Forsten’s and the Travancore are considered endangered- most known Forsten’s tortoises are in captivity or preserved.
Indotestudo are unique among tortoises for changing colors during breeding season. Normally yellowish to grey, the head will turn bright yellow, pink or white during the mating season. The difference is amazing, and makes the male very visible on the forest floor. The carapace is elongated and rather low, slightly flared in the front and back. Males are generally slightly larger than females. In general, much of their natural history is very similar to the yellow-footed tortoise.
They do not brumate but may aestivate at least partially in hotter or dryer weather. They have been observed foraging at night in hot weather.
The genus includes these species: Indotestudo elongata, Elongated Tortoise; I. forstenii, Forsten’s or the Sulawesi Tortoise and I. travancorica, Travancore Tortoise
CLICK ON A TORTOISE BELOW TO READ ABOUT THE SPECIES
Burmese Mountain Tortoise
Indian Star Tortoise