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Red Foot Tortoise

Red Foot Tortoise (Animals)

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The Red-footed tortoise (Geochelone carbonaria) (known in Brazil as Jabuti; known in Venezuela as Morrocoy) is a tortoise native to South America and popular as a pet. It draws its name from the red or orange scales visible on its limbs, as well as its head and tail. This species is protected under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which means that this species may not be exported from its home country without a permit. The redfoot has a larger cousin, the yellow-footed tortoise (Geochelone denticulata), also known as the Brazilian Giant Tortoise.

Description

Redfoot tortoises have red scales on the limbs, as well as red, yellow, and/or orange facial markings. Redfoots will normally reach between 10 and 14 inches (25.4 - 35.6 cm) in carapace length, although in rare cases may grow up to 16 inches (40 cm). There is also a smaller phenotype commonly called the 'cherryhead' redfoot, which can be identified by its' bulbous nose and darker plastron. This phenotype, which does not bear subspecies classification at this time, ranges in size as an adult from 10-12 inches (25 - 30 cm).

Redfoot males are larger than females in carapace length and weight, but are not wider or taller. Males can easily reach twenty pounds (9kg) or more, while females weigh a bit less. As with other tortoise species, male redfoots have a concave plastron. As redfoots mature, both sexes develop a unique mid-body constriction (some have referred to it as a "waist") that, from a top view, gives the tortoises a decidedly hourglass appearance. This "hourglass" figure is much more developed in males than in females. Mature males also have longer and wider tails than females.

A redfoot tortoise generally lives 40-50 years.


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