15 Elongated Tortoise Facts You’ll Never Forget

Elongated tortoise facts, as a pet, it can recognize its owner

In this article, we will learn some exciting and fascinating facts about one such tortoise, the Elongated tortoise.

Elongated tortoise is a beautiful yellow-colored medium-sized tortoise that is critically endangered because of its habitat destruction and over-exploitation over many years. This tropical forest-dwelling species is widespread in Southeast Asian countries. A quiet and friendly creature, this tortoise is most often kept as a pet. But now is the time for us humans to stop harming these creatures and their habitats to prevent them from getting extinct, and the tortoise of our childhood fictional story becomes a fictional animal for our grandchildren.

If you like this article, check out radiated tortoise facts and gopher tortoise facts as well!

Elongated tortoise

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Carrion, Slugs, Plant Material

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

5 - 9 eggs

How much do they weigh?

7 lb ( 3.5 kg )

How long are they?

12 in ( 30 cm )

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Yellow, Brown

Skin Type

Dry Scales

What are their main threats?

Humans, Crocodiles, Jaguars

What is their conservation status?

Critically Endangered

Where you'll find them

Deciduous Forest Patches, Evergreen Forest, Savannah Grasslands, Dry Thorn Forests


Southeast Asia





Scientific Name

Indotestudo elongata





Elongated Tortoise Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an elongated tortoise?

The elongated tortoise (Indotestudo elongata) is a medium-sized tortoise species. They are reptiles distinguished from turtles by being land-dwellers or terrestrial, while the turtles are aquatic or semi-aquatic animals.

What class of animal does an elongated tortoise belong to?

An elongated tortoise, Indotestudo elongata, belongs to the Reptilia class of the Testudinidae family. It belongs to the genus Indotestudo which also includes Travancore tortoise, Indotestudo forstenii.

How many elongated tortoises are there in the world?

The exact count of the number of species is not available. However, studies indicate that there has been a decline of more than 80% of their population in the past century.

Where does an elongated tortoise live?

The elongated tortoise is found in Southeast Asia. These species are found in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, and Bangladesh.

What is an elongated tortoise’s habitat?

The habitat of elongated tortoise includes deciduous forests, evergreen forests, dry thorn forests, savannah grasslands, upland forest areas and prefer streams, rivers, and ponds in their range.

Who do elongated tortoises live with?

Elongated tortoises are solitary animals that are found in pairs only during mating season, though, they do not mind the presence of another in their vicinity.

How long does an elongated tortoise live?

Elongated tortoises have really long lives. The lifespan of an elongated tortoise is about 40 to 50 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

Elongated tortoise reproduces by sexual reproduction process. There is no particular mating season, but most of the breeding happens in summer and fall. When they are ready to mate, their nose and eyes turn to pinkish color. Males follow a female for several hours, bumping violently onto her with vocal cues, sometimes biting her before mating. The female lays five to nine eggs in a four-inch deep nest, and eggs are incubated for about 100 days. The young are sexually mature between seven to nine years of age.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN Red List, the conservation status of the elongated tortoise (Indotestudo elongata) is Critically Endangered. Due to habitat loss and over-exploitation of the species, their numbers continue to decline.

Elongated Tortoise Fun Facts

What do elongated tortoises look like?

Elongated tortoise group is called a creep.

Elongated tortoises have a beautiful yellow shell with black blotches and patterned splotches over the carapace surface. They are long, short, and stout. The scutes are beautifully outlined, which gives the rounded plastron its unique appearance. The front legs are clawed, whereas the hind legs are smooth and agile. They have a very short tail, and the males have a body size smaller than the female body size. The shell has three main parts, the top one is called a carapace, the bottom is known as plastron, and of course, the bridge that fuses these pieces together.

How cute are they?

Elongated tortoises are cute tortoises attracting every onlooker to pick up and have one with them around.

How do they communicate?

Elongated tortoises are very calm species, but males show some aggression during the mating season through vocal cues and even tend to bite if disturbed. But in general, they are calm and easy-going, living on their own.

How big is an elongated tortoise?

The elongated tortoise grows to about 13 - 14 in (33-35.6 cm) in length. The females are more rounded and larger than the males in this species.

How fast can an elongated tortoise move?

An elongated tortoise moves around very slowly, and a tortoise is said to move at a speed of 1 mph.

How much does an Elongated Tortoise weigh?

An adult elongated tortoise weighs about 7lb (3kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female elongated tortoises do not have any specific term based on their sex. However, the collective noun for tortoises is a creep, bale, thicket, or angst.

What would you call a baby elongated tortoise?

The baby of an elongated tortoise is just called a hatchling, just like any other juvenile tortoise, and it needs to fend on its own.

What do they eat?

The elongated tortoise diet includes a variety of plants, plant materials, and greens. They are omnivores and also feed on slugs, carrion, snails, etc. For calcium requirements, they are observed eating eggs from the nest of other land-dwelling species.

Are they dangerous?

The elongated tortoises are very docile and calm creatures and are not at all dangerous. Only during the mating period, males show some signs of aggression if disturbed.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, they are great pets. And they are kept as both indoor and outdoor pets—few things to know about elongated tortoise care before bringing it in as a pet.

For keeping it as an indoor pet, you need to have an enclosure that is at least 6 ft (1.8 m) wide and eight feet wide, and 2 ft (3.7 m) in height. An important thing to keep in mind is that they are forest species from the tropical region and prefer warmer temperatures year long.

If you keep your tortoise outdoors, make sure the walls are high and deep enough to keep the tortoise from crawling over or digging out of the enclosure. Also, make it safe enough to keep the predatory species away.

They are species that prefer a humid environment with ample plant litter in the wild. So fill the enclosure with some absorbent material like the peat moss with a thick substrate layer. The substrate should be maintained damp but do not waterlog the enclosure. And most importantly, provide as much plant material, grasses, and greens in the enclosure. Equally important is the basking area to expose themselves to the sun to maintain calcium levels in their bodies.

Indoor or outdoor, a corner with water is essential for the tortoise to keep itself hydrated either by drinking some water or just soaking itself in it. And about its diet and foods to be given, provide them with a variety of vegetables, fruits, and greens as your hands can get on to meet their nutrient requirements. In addition, soaked cat food, earthworms, and other animal protein can be included in the diet once in a while with parts of required calcium supplements.

For optimum health and life, keep the enclosure neat, clean it often and provide fresh water every day. Take care of its diet and keep in touch with the vet. Also, buy the tortoise from a reputed seller. It may cost anywhere between $200 to $300. And definitely check for the legality of owning this tortoise as a pet in your region.

Did you know...

Few herpetology enthusiasts in the United States are able to raise these elongated tortoises (or Elongateds) successfully in recent times.

Females of this species have longer, sharper, and curvier nails that help dig a nest in the ground to lay eggs.

Their shell is sensitive to touch, and a pet can recognize its owner.

Tortoise smell with their throats.

Most of the tortoises need hibernation for their well-being but an Elongated tortoise doesn't hibernate.

Spectacle glass frames are made out of the shells of a tortoise!

There is a tortoise village named Ban Kok in northeastern Thailand where humans and these tortoises co-existed for more than 200 years. They call it ‘tao pek’.

The gopher tortoise, one of the tortoises, is the state tortoise of Florida.

Charles Darwin collected a Galapagos tortoise during his 1835 visit to the Galapagos Islands, which was taken care of by Steve Irwin until it died in an Australian zoo in 2006.

A mixture is made and consumed by grinding up the tortoise’s shell in China and is falsely believed to serve as an aphrodisiac.

Tortoise is the symbol of the ancient Greek god Hermes. And in Hinduism, 'Kurma’ (Sanskrit name for tortoise) was the second avatar of Vishnu.

Why are elongated tortoises endangered?

Yes, elongated tortoises are critically endangered species. The Arakan forest turtle, Asian black giant tortoise, and keeled box turtle are three other endangered species in parts of India and neighboring countries.

Due to habitat loss and over-exploitation of this species across its range, their population has declined drastically in the more recent time. Deforestation, natural forest fires are the major reasons for habitat loss for this species. Also, the burn and cultivate practice in northeast India and Bangladesh is threatening to their population.

They are widespread in India and neighboring countries and most often are found outside the protected area range. Thus, though the geographical distribution range of the Elongated tortoise is wide, there are fragmented numbers in the area they are found.

In coordination with the local help, conservationists and biologists are putting efforts into rescuing specimens in many instances. In addition, captive breeding and community-based conservation efforts with awareness programs for protection and rehabilitation of the endangered specimens to a safer environment are helpful to some extent.

Stringent protection laws and awareness programs need to be put in place for the conservation of these elongated tortoises in their fragmented area of natural habitats.

How did the elongated tortoise get its name?

The elongated tortoise has many common names. Yellow tortoise, Sal forest tortoise are the two most famous ones. The name yellow tortoise is the most common because of the dominant yellow color on their shell. And because they are found in the Sal deciduous forests, their name the Sal forest tortoise.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles from our giant tortoise facts and leatherback sea turtles facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable elongated tortoise coloring pages.



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