Monday, February 16, 2015

Angulate Tortoise

Its always nice to encounter different critters and interesting things while out on a walk.  Ok, not quite all critters.  Nobody is keen on stumbling on a snake.  A walk near Kini Bay a couple of weekend's ago delivered not a snake but a Angulate Tortoise.  The Angulate Tortoise (Chersina angulata) is quite common in South Africa and found in dry areas and scrub forests.  According to Wikipedia they are called a Rooipens Skilpad in Afrikaans, although I'm not sure that I've ever quite heard that name.  I may be wrong though.  There is considerable regional variation in this species of tortoise.  Individuals from the west coast of southern Africa tend to have a reddish colour, especially on the underside of their shell (ok so that is where the Afrikaans name comes from).  Inland specimens from the Karoo are often darker, and some are known to be uniformly black. To the east of their range, individuals are typically smaller and have a lighter colour.

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