About Spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca) Danube Delta
The Spur-Thighed Tortoise or the Greek Tortoise (Testudo graeca) is a widely spread species from Europe. In Romania it can be found especially in Dobruja.
The Greek Tortoise is a mid-sized species, with an adult size of 20 to 30 cm. Its head, neck and members fully retract under its shell. Its shell is rectangular, oblong and brownish. The plates which create the shell are wide and outlined with black. Males can be distinguished from females through a longer and harder tail and through the size of the posterior cavity of the plastron. The head and legs are covered with scales. On their posterior thighs, the Greek Tortoise has spurs. On young specimens, the shell is coloured in a wiped olive or a light yellow with black spots on the edge of each plate.
The Greek Tortoise prefers dry, sunny areas, on heels with low heights. During daytime, it moves continuously across the land in search of food.
Females will lay between 4 and 12 round and white eggs, during May to June. The eggs will hatch after 70 to 80 days.
The Greek Tortoise is an herbivore species, which feeds on leaves, flowers and fruits. Accidentally, it will eat snails or rain worms.
This species hibernates during the cold season. The Greek Tortoise is a protected species.