Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kleinmann's Tortoise

Kleinmann's Tortoise
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Sauropsida
Order : Testudines
Family : Testudinidae
Genus : Testudo
Species : T. kleinmanni

Length : 4.5in (11.5cm)

IUCN Status : Critically Endangered

Kleinmann's Tortoises are also referred to as Egyptian Tortoises, though sadly they are completely extinct in Egypt. Small populations still live in desert and semi-arid areas of Libya and a few other nearby areas.

When we last visited the world of the Tortoises, we looked at the Speckled Padloper Tortoise, the smallest tortoise in the world. Kleinmann's Tortoises are the smallest Tortoises in the Northern Hemisphere, and the second smallest overall in the world.. They are easy to identify due to their small size, high carapaces, and dull yellow shells. They also have two very distinct dark triangular marks on their plastrons.

Kleinmann's Tortoises have seen their populations fragmented due to habitat loss. Their small size has also made them incredibly popular in the pet trade, and thousands of them were taken in the past few decades. It is estimated that there are only 7,500 left. The species is protected in Egypt, but not in Libya, where most of the wild individuals still live.

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