Tortoise the size of a grape11/04/2011 14:02:26
Size of a tortoise
April 2011. This tiny month-old Egyptian tortoise at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire, is dwarfed by a juicy grape. He is part of a small litter born to a group of tortoises seized by HM Customs and Excise last year that were destined for the illegal pet trade
Weighing in at just 6g on hatching, the titchy tortoise will grow 500g over the next 10 years, when he might just be big enough to enjoy a whole grape to himself.
These critically endangered creatures originate from Egypt and Libya, but visitors to Whipsnade Zoo can see the pint-sized chap taking one of his slow jaunts around his specially designed miniature home.
Egyptian tortoises are the smallest in the northen hemisphere. They live in deserts and semi-arid habitats, usually with compact sand and gravel plains, scattered rocks, shallow, sandy wadis, dry woodlands, shrubby areas, and coastal salt marsh habitats. In captivity, they eat grasses, fruits, and vegetables, but the diet of wild tortoises is unknown.