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Egyptian Tortoise (Testudo kleinmanni)

These Tortoises are the smallest tortoise in the northern hemisphere. Female tortoises are larger than the males; males are more slender and have a longer tail. Their shells have high domes, and range in color from ivory to pale gold to dark brown or dull yellow. Once found in Egypt and Libya, their habitat in Egypt has been all but destroyed, and Egyptian Tortoises are now effectively extinct there. Two populations can still be found in Libya, but much of the coastline habitat has been destroyed. They live in deserts and semi-arid habitats, usually with compact sand and gravel plains, scattered rocks, shallow, sandy wades, dry woodlands, shrubby areas, and coastal salt marsh habitats.

Feed your Egyptian Tortoise plenty of leafy greens. Provide them with a good variety to ensure that they do not get bored. Some turtles and tortoises should be fed small portions of fruit where as the Egyptian tortoise should not be fed any of this at all. A diet of chopped greens (kale, endive, mustard, dandelions, etc.),grasses, weeds and a commercial tortoise diet should be fed to the animals. Always have an available water source for them. If your tortoise is kept warm, fed and watered regularly, and given adequate room it should live for fifty to seventy years.

Egyptian tortoises should be housed in a dry, warm environment with low ambient humidity. This must be taken into consideration when arranging housing for them. Upon exposure to a humid environment, even if warm, many of these tortoises fare very poorly and rapidly decline. This is a species that has evolved a very strict niche over the years and one that does not fare well outside that niche. While most species of tortoises respond well and do much better with outdoor maintenance, this species tends to do best in indoor accommodations unless they are being maintained in a low humidity, high temperature climate. Egyptian tortoises tend to bury themselves in the topsoil or under the base of clumps of grass, regardless of being maintained indoors or out.