Scientific Name: Chersina angulata
Moderately sized tortoises, the Bow-Sprit Tortoise averages between ten and twenty centimeters in length and weighs around one kilogram. The top of their shell, or carapace, is long and usually tan in color. As Bow-Sprit Tortoises age, their shell becomes thicker, protecting them from predators. Male Bow-Sprit Tortoises usually have a concave plastron, or the underside of the shell. The males also have an obvious throat-shield that acts as a weapon.
Found in very dry, desert-like habitats
The Bow-Sprit Tortoise is also known as the Angulate Tortoise. They are native to the arid regions of South Africa.
Bow-Sprit Tortoises can usually be fond in very dry, desert-like habitats. The Bow-Sprit Tortoise does not do well in humid environments. In fact, humidity can cause serious health problems. At times of the year when water is available in their natural environment, the Bow-Sprit Tortoise may occasionally soak in water. Male Bow-Sprit Tortoises drink water through their noses. Many males are territorial and can become aggressive when other males threaten their territory. Not all of the male tortoises are territorial and in many instances, more than one male will share a territory. Bow-Sprit Tortoises are capable of walking quite quickly. Bow-Sprit Tortoises in the wild feed primarily on grasses and succulent plants. Species of plants that they primarily eat are Albuca, Cynodon, Abutilon sonnerotianum and Opuntia ficus-indica, a species of cactus foreign to the region, however, they eat a wide variety of cactuses.
Bow-Sprit Tortoises are found in South Africa, Namidia and near Cape Province. The population of the Bow-Sprit Tortoise can be greatly affected by other animals that share their habitat. For example, on Dassen Island when the Jackass Penguin population lowers, the Bow-Sprit Tortoise population increases. This is because the Penguin's feces kills off the vegetation preferred by the tortoises. The Bow-Sprit Tortoise also competes with rabbits for food.
Sulcatas are herbivores and, in the wild, get most of their food from dried grasses and leaves.