Congratulations to Marcela and Yael from Lexington, MA for suggesting Tortellini, the winning name for our Discovery Studio tortoise! And thanks to everyone who entered the contest – there were so many fantastic suggestions, you've left us wanting more pets to name.
We were eager for Tortellini to have a name and, like visitors to Discovery Studio, curious to learn more about tortoises. And so was Tortellini, as it turns out.
|Tortellini "reading" a book about tortoises.|
(No, this was not staged!)
So here are some excerpts from our tortoise fact sheet:
What kind of tortoise is Tortellini?
Tortellini is a sulcata tortoise, also known as an African spurred tortoise (Testudinae family). African spurred tortoises are found in hot, dry scrubland areas in a large swath across Northern Africa, south of the Sahara Desert. They live in deep burrows in which they seek refuge from the heat.
How big will he grow?
They grow fast and can grow very big! A tortoise can live over 50 years and its carapace (shell) can grow to be 18 inches across. Tortellini is 2 ½ years old.
What makes a healthy tortoise diet?
Tortoises like to eat grasses (buffalo, bermuda, orchardgrass, little bluestem, and western wheat grass). Tortellini enjoys lettuce leaves and carrot peels. Food treats are strawberries (with greens intact), hollyhock, roses (flowers only), chickweed, dandelions, hibiscus and geranium (leaves and flowers).
What about water?
Once a week, we dip Tortellini in an inch of filtered water and if he’s thirsty, he will drink. Otherwise, he gets all the hydration he needs from food. He is a desert tortoise so he holds all the water he needs in his body.
Thanks to Dave Marchetti of Animal Experiences for providing us with our tortoise and to Marcela and Yael for giving him a name!