Thursday, May 2, 2019

Indian Star Tortoise

The Indian star tortoise is found in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in dry areas and scrub forest. As I read the description of it in Wikipedia I am blown away by the technical description that makes it all but indecipherable without spending a huge amount of time looking up all the technical words. What does jump out is that it is endangered because of its popularity in the exotic pet trade.
An un-cropped photo that gives an idea of the bare ground and vegetation it was traversing, before entering into some bushes. 
A backside view as it walks toward some bushes.
Reptiles Magazine notes that the "yellow lines radiating from the center of each scute and contrasting with their black base color" makes them "one of the worlds most attractive tortoise species."  Further, females are considerably larger than males. 
Close-ups of the shell detail. 
The center of the star centers on the top of each scute and sends radiating lines outward. 
While we were driving through Bundala National Park in Southern Sri Lanka our volunteer guide (which you are required to take with you when you enter) noticed the tortoise walking along near our vehicle. Our guide, Sanjay, was quite excited, exclaiming he'd never seen one before. 
The tortoise enters the bushes and eventually disappears. 
I don't have any great photos because the tortoise was always high-tailing away. No good head shots. But it was very fun to see and the decorations on the shell are even better than the ones I see in the reptile magazines. 

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