Reference Terms
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Tortoise

The tortoise is a land-dwelling reptile which is of the order Testudines.

Like their aquatic cousins, the turtles, tortoises are shielded from predators by a shell.

The top part of the shell is the carapace, the underside is the plastron, and the two are connected by the bridge.

The tortoise has both an endoskeleton and an exoskeleton.

Tortoises can vary in size from a few centimetres to two meters.

Most land tortoises are herbivorous in the wild.

The carapace can help indicate the age of the tortoise by the number of concentric rings, much like the cross-section of a tree.

Males tend to have a longer, protruding neck plate than their female counterparts.

Tortoises are generally reclusive and shy.

Tortoises generally have lifespans comparable with those of human beings, and some individuals are known to have lived longer than 150 years.

Most land based tortoises are herbivores, feeding on grazing grasses, weeds, leafy greens, flowers, and certain fruits.

Their main diet consists of alfalfa, clover, dandelions, and leafy weeds.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Tortoise", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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September 2, 2015

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