• Conservation Status: Vulnerable
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Family: Chordata
  • Scientific name:Centrochelys sulcata
  • Did you know: The African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata) is the largest tortoise of the African mainland, and is surpassed in size only by the giant island species from Aldabra and Gal├ípagos.

    African Spurred Tortoise

    he African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata), also called the sulcata tortoise, is a species of tortoise, which inhabits the southern edge of the Sahara desert, in Africa. It is the third-largest species of tortoise in the world, the largest species of mainland tortoise, and the only extant species in the genus Centrochelys.

    The African spurred tortoise is native to the Sahara Desert and the Sahel, a transitional ecoregion of semiarid grasslands, savannas, and thorn shrublands found in the countries of Burkina Faso, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan.In these arid regions, the tortoise excavates burrows in the ground to get to areas with higher moisture levels, and spends the hottest part of the day in these burrows. This is known as aestivation. Burrows may average 30 inches in depth; some dig tunnel systems extending 10 feet or more underground.There is a variant of this tortoise in Sudan, they differ by having a bigger overall body and shell.