The Great Padloper (Homopus femoralis) is a small chelonian reptile in the Testudinidae family of land tortoises.
The Great Padloper Tortoise has a brown domed-shaped shell called a carapace, although it can be reddish-brown or olive-brown. It has darker markings bordering its scutes (scales). As it ages, the dark markings often become thin white lines. The top part of the carapace is slightly flattened. Its pale cream bottom shell is called a plastron. It has a small head and brown eyes. It has four toes on its thick, stumpy legs.
It grows to about 10 centimetres (4 inches) in length. The male is smaller than the female. The male has a longer tail and longer claws than the female.
It is found in South Africa. It prefers grasslands and savannahs, as well as rocky outcrops.
The Great Padloper is a summer-rainfall tortoise. It spends winter under vegetation and rocks, from June to September.
It is omnivorous, feeding on plants, fruit, grass, flowers, fungi, and insects.
The Great Padloper Tortoise female lays about 3 eggs, which hatch after 105-202 days. The hatchlings have a sharp egg tooth, which they use to break open the egg. They are born dark-coloured, and grow quickly, gradually gaining their adult colours.
Location of photographs: Tbilisi Zoo, Georgia
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM