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Species Description

The marginated tortoise (Testudo marginata) is a species of tortoise found in Greece, Italy and the Balkans in southern Europe. It is the largest European tortoise, reaching a weight of up to 5 kg (11 lb) and a length of 35 cm (14 in). Its shell is oblong and has a notable thickness around the middle of the body. The posterior end of the shell has a saw-like formation, flanged outward like a bell. The carapaces of adult specimens are almost completely black, with yellow highlights. The front sides of the limbs are covered with large scales. The tail is notable for a lengthwise marking and for an undivided carapace over the tail. The marginated tortoise is herbivorous, and hibernates for the winter.

The marginated tortoise is the largest European tortoise, reaching a weight of up to 5 kg (11 lb) and a length of 35 cm (14 in). Its shell is oblong and has a notable thickness around the middle of the body. The posterior end of the shell has a saw-like formation, flanged outward like a bell. The carapace of an adult specimen is almost completely black, with yellow highlights. The ventral shell is lighter-coloured and has pairs of triangular markings with the points facing the rear of the animal. The front sides of the limbs are covered with large scales. In an old female specimen, the rear flaps of the underside of her plastron is somewhat moveable. The tail is notable for a lengthwise marking and for an undivided carapace over the tail. The male has a longer tail, which is thicker at the base than the female's. The underside is more strongly indented. Males are also often larger than the females. The females lay their hard-shelled spherical eggs in the soil in May and June.

Annual reports

201320092007

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