Smallest Tortise In The World

Storm, holding the Cape Speckled Tortise

On, our walk up The Gatouw Pass last weekend, we came across this little tortise crossing the path, along our route.

This is possibly the smallest tortoise in the world, with a maximum carapace (shell) length of about four inches. It's name is the Cape Speckled Tortise or Padloper in Afrikaans. The scientific name is Homopus Signatus Signatus.

The Cape Speckled Tortoises are facing threat of extinction and one should never be tempted to take one home as a pet. These little tortises are also facing huge problems with thier habitat destroyed by fires, foresting, farming and property developments. They are also targeted by illegal syndications that capture them in large numbers for the commercial pet trade. You can help speckled Cape tortoises by not keeping them as pets and reporting any one keeping them to Cape Nature.

Scientists don't know a lot about some of their habits. For instance, little is known about their rituals of courtship, mating, and nesting. They do know that females lay a single egg in summer. This means the tortoises can't reproduce quickly. Yet another reason they must be protected and left in the wild.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you, for visiting The Helderberg Basin Blog