T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Tortoise (Leopard) Stigmochelys pardalis

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Testudinidae
Genus: Stigmochelys
Species: S. pardalis
Binomial name: Stigmochelys pardalis
Common name: Leopard tortoise

Stigmochelys pardalis occurs widely through the arid and savanna regions of eastern and southern Africa, from South Sudan and Somalia to Namibia and South Africa.  
In New Zealand, leopard tortoises can only be found in captivity in zoos including Auckland, Butterfly Creek, Wellington Zoo, Ti Point and Willowbank.

Stigmochelys pardalis is the fourth largest species of tortoise in the world. The exceptionally large male leopard tortoises and can weigh up to 45kg. Adults typically reach 40 centimetres and weigh 13 kilograms. 
The carapace is high and domed with steep, almost vertical sides. Juveniles and young adults are attractively marked with black blotches, spots or even dashes and stripes on a yellow background. In mature adults, the markings tend to fade to a nondescript brown or grey. The head and limbs are uniformly coloured yellow, tan, or brown.



The pattern on the scales fades with age.


Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/