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Red Footed Tortoise

Popular as pets, the Red Footed Tortoise originally hails from South America, where export permits are required to take them out of the individual countries. Most tortoises now found in captivity were captive bred. The Red Footed Tortoise is of least concern on the IUCN list.

Tortoises at the Lincoln Park Zoo
They are a medium sized species, growing up to 14 inches in length, though the males are typically longer and heavier than the females. Red Footed Tortoises are primarily herbivores, consuming grasses, fruits and mushrooms, though they will sometimes consume carrion. They are also attracted to red and yellow flowers.

Red Footed Tortoises are quite colorful... for a tortoise.  They have red, yellow and orange colorations on their legs and heads, and their shells range from brown to black with lighter patches. An interesting feature of their anatomy is that as they age, their top shells (known as carapaces) become slightly concave on the sides, giving them a "waist."

Tortoise courtships coincides with rainy weather. Their mating ritual involves a male tortoise approaching another tortoise, standing side by side with them, and then bobbing his head back and forth in a series of jerking motions. If the other tortoise is male, he will respond with similar motions, and perhaps some shoving around. If the other tortoise is female, however, she will do nothing, and mating might commence. Red Footed Tortoises are also very picky about head coloration, and may not breed with other individuals who do not match their desired colors.


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For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

Halloween Crab

Gecarcinus quadratus The Halloween Crab goes by many names, including the Red Land Crab, Whitespot Crab, and Moon Crab. I personally like Halloween Crab though, since it really reflects the interesting colors. They have black carapaces, orange-red legs, and purple claws! Halloween Crabs live in the Pacific coast mangroves and forests of Central and South America. They actually live in the forests as adults, and return to the ocean in order to reproduce. Did you know that they live as far away as 18 miles (30km)  from water? Not where you normally think Crabs to be! While living in the forest, the Crabs forage nocturnally for different plant matter, including leaves and sapling. They also dig long burrows into the ground for protection. These burrows can measure nearly 5 ft long! Halloween Crabs are sometimes kept in captivity, and can be very tricky pets due to their excellent climbing skills. IUCN Status :  Not Listed Location :   Cent