Tortoises are real prehistoric creatures. These fabulous animals are native to almost all over the world and in the most varied habitats.
Especially beginners find it difficult to find a suitable tortoise species. In this article, we, therefore, present 5 popular beginner tortoises and give tips on how you can delve deeper into the world of these wonderful animals.
Size and breeding of tortoise
The best known is probably the Galápagos giant tortoise, which can reach a size of over 1.3 meters. But other species also reach considerable size, such as the Leopard Tortoise presented below, which can also be kept at home. It reaches a length of over 50cm. So if you want to buy a tortoise like a leopard tortoise, you should be aware of the size and have enough space. But don’t worry, there are also smaller species that need a little less space.
The majority of tortoises are threatened by humans in their natural habitat. Therefore, the tortoises are under special protection. Wild animals may either not be kept at all or only under very strict conditions.
Terrariums therefore usually get their animals from breeding stations or breeders. In this way, natural stocks are additionally protected. But this type of land tortoise procurement also has significant advantages for us. The offspring are much more robust and often even more beautiful than their counterparts in the wild. This is achieved by only continuing to breed the most beautiful and strongest animals.
Not every tortoise species can be kept at home just like that, either because the species is under protection or because the housing conditions are simply too complex.
Over time, certain species have become particularly popular. For some tortoise species, you need a lot of experience. We are therefore only presenting species that are either easy to keep or can still be mastered by committed beginners.
Top 5 Beginner Tortoises
Tropical tortoises are particularly beautiful and have a wide variety of colors. The animals are mostly kept in large indoor terrariums. Even in summer, the temperature and humidity are not enough to keep these tortoises outdoors.
European tortoises, which are used to a somewhat milder climate than their tropical counterparts, are very popular and widespread. The animals are kept most of the year in the outdoor terrarium and only brought to the apartment/cellar for the winter. But some species are so hardy that they can overwinter outdoors.
1. Hermann’s Tortoise (Testudo Hermanni)
Let’s start with the Hermann’s tortoise, which is one of the most popular tortoise species. The European tortoise is about 20cm tall.
The Hermann’s tortoise is widespread between southern Spain and Romania. The diurnal animals prefer pine and oak forests as well as shrub and hedge landscapes.
2. Greek Tortoise (Testudo Graeca)
The Greek tortoise is also one of the European tortoises and is highly recommended for beginners in terrariums, as the animals are relatively easy to keep.
Depending on the subspecies, the Greek tortoise is up to 30cm tall. There are a total of 10 subspecies that are predominantly native to Asia and North Africa. However, two of the subspecies can be found in the Mediterranean.
These diurnal animals have occupied many different habitats, such as swamp regions, forests, dune landscapes or even semi-deserts.
3. Marginated Tortoise (Testudo Marginata)
The Marginated turtle is also one of the European tortoises, for which you should have a little more experience.
This tortoise species is between 20cm and 34cm tall. It is home to the Balkan Peninsulas and the Aegean Islands. The Marginated tortoises are mainly found in drier areas. Marginated tortoises have even been found in steppe regions.
4. Leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys Pardalis)
The Leopard turtle is a popular tropical tortoise that can easily grow to an impressive size of 50cm tall. There are two subspecies in total, the South African and the East African Leopard Tortoise.
As the name suggests, this tortoise originates from the south or east of Africa, such as the Congo, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, and Uganda. The animals are native to dry steppe regions and wet savannas. Within these regions, the leopard tortoises have spread to almost every habitat.
5. Pancake Tortoise (Malacochersus Tornieri)
The Pancake tortoise grows up to 20cm tall, making it a smaller tortoise species.
This tortoise species lives mainly in the rocky areas of Tanzania and Kenya, which are overgrown with thorn bushes. The Creeping Turtle got its name from its defense behavior. She hides from her attackers in crevices and inflates so much that you can no longer pull them out.
You should also have a little experience with the Pancake tortoise. However, if you are very motivated and prepare yourself accordingly for this interesting tortoise,
Our Conclusion About Tortoises
There are also many fascinating and beautiful species of tortoise for beginners. The tropical tortoises in particular have an impressive shell pattern. Most European tortoises are a little easier to keep because of the climate in their respective countries of origin.
Regardless of which tortoise species you ultimately choose, all of the species presented here require a solid basic knowledge of the habitat, behavior and the necessary conditions for keeping them. Also, keep in mind that tortoises take up a lot of space and can reach an impressive age. Tortoises are not just kept for fun but instead are made for an intensive and long-term friendship.
The next step for you is to soak up all the knowledge about your favorite species. Because only with the appropriate basic knowledge can they ensure a species-appropriate attitude and create the appropriate living space.