Glasgow Zoo Park
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Tortoises, Turtles

Tortoise stock

Elongated Tortoise

Elongated Indotestudo elongata found from India to Malaysia
Hermann's Tortoise

Hermann's Tortoise Testudo hermanni found from Spain to the Balkans
Radiated Tortoise

Radiated Tortoise Geochelone radiata from Madagascar
Red-footed Tortoise

Red-footed Geochelone varbonaria, from Panama to Paraguay
Yellow-footed Tortoise

Yellow-footed Geochelone denticulata, from Northern South America
Gulf Coast Box turtle Terrapene carolina major

Burmese Black Tortoise Manouria emys phayrei


Aldabran Tortoise

Glasgow Zoopark keeps several species of tortoises. Perhaps the most dramatic are the giant tortoises from Aldabra an island in the Indian ocean.

Tortoise and turtle shells are actually formed of horny plates covering an inner layer of bony plates which incorporate the animal's ribs and are connected to the backbone.

Tortoises, though seemingly so slow-moving and unfeeling, are quite capable of forming attachments to people as well as other tortoises and, as D.H. Lawrence recorded in several poems, they become positively noisy in the breeding season.

Tortoises have changed relatively little in millions of years, but today they are in many cases threatened by man; breeding certain species in captivity is one way in which zoos can contribute to their conservation.

All young tortoises must be carefully treated and fed if they are to develop properly. Over feeding creates a body too big for the shell. Too little calcium creates a stunted, sometimes flattened shell; too much protein and the shell becomes lumpy. So you can get some indication that rearing tortoises is not easy, and the good condition of our tortoises are indicative of the knowledge and expertise of our keepers.

HISTORICAL FOOTNOTE

Way back in August 1850, two Scottish newspapers, the Glasgow Herald and the Scotsman, reported that a tortoise recently imported into Liverpool from the Mediterranean had laid a couple of eggs. This must have been considered very remarkable at the time for the press over 300 km from Liverpool to take an interest. Can anyone provide earlier instances of tortoises laying eggs in Britain?