Indian Star Tortoise
Scientific Name: Geochelone elegans
Habitat: Indian star tortoises are found in the semi arid scrub forests and thorny grasslands of central and Southern India, Western Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Diet: Star tortoises are herbivores. They graze extensively upon mixed grasses, but also favor the fruit and pads of the prickly pear succulents and thistles.
Size: 0.5 to 1 foot long
Weight: 1 to 2.5 pounds
Lifespan: 30 to 50 years in the wild. Up to 80 years in human care.
Our Indian Star Tortoise:
Did You Know?!
Variations of a star pattern are quite common among African and to some extent Asian tortoises, and are – despite the eye-catching appearance in unnatural surroundings – a very efficient means of camouflage.
Indian star tortoises have been used for human food ever since the two species came into contact thousands of years ago. Local subsistence use might not have seriously impacted tortoise populations, but systematic mass collection for the commercial food and pet market is unsustainable, reducing or even extirpating tortoise populations.
During dry, hot weather Indian star tortoises are mostly active during the early morning and late afternoon. The rest of the day, these tortoises shelter under vegetation or other cover. During the rainy season, their activity level increases tremendously and they can be observed moving around and feeding during much of the day.