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Tortoise: Speke's Hinged

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Wholt
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Identification Help - Tortoise

Unread postby Wholt » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:57 pm

Image

Please can someone help ID this type of tortoise it's not a Leopard Tortoise. I'm presuming that its a hinged tortoise but I'd like to know which one. This specimen was seen in the south of the Kruger National Park
Last edited by Wholt on Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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3dgreek
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Re: Please Help ID tortoise

Unread postby 3dgreek » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:07 pm

According to my book it looks like a female Natal Hinged Tortoise but she's far away from home if I'm right...normally found in the Transvaal and Natal Lowlands normally between 300m and 1000m altitude
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vanalder
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Re: Please Help ID tortoise

Unread postby vanalder » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:23 pm

Here are a few comparisons:

http://www.google.com/images?q=Natal+Hi ... en___US235

Don't think anyone would question Natal Hinged.

Daan

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Imberbe
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Re: Please Help ID tortoise

Unread postby Imberbe » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:51 pm

Not a tortoise expert ...

Firstly, you are correct that it is a hinged tortoise. :thumbs_up:

OK, you get two types of hinged tortoise that occur in the area of the Southern KNP.

The first is the Natal hinged tortoise. This is not a common tortoise, and has a poorly developed hinge. It is also the smallest of the hinged tortoises.

The second is the Speke's hinged tortoise. This is the most commonly found one in the KNP. It has a well developed hinge, has smooth marginals and is a medium sized animal.

My gut feeling is telling me that this is a Speke's. I base it on the fact that this animal has clearly a well developed hinge. Size is difficult to judge from the photo. Also the smooth marginals.

Again ... no expert on this.
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3dgreek
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Re: Please Help ID tortoise

Unread postby 3dgreek » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:54 pm

It's a funny little thing...to me it's like a mix of Speke's and Natal...skin colour is also very dark for either of the species...shell shape is Natal but colour is similar to Speke's...bit of a puzzler.

Must be a tortoise expert out there somewhere
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Imberbe
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Re: Please Help ID tortoise

Unread postby Imberbe » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:14 pm

There are many animals in which colour is not a good indication of species. This include many of your reptiles. Colours fade with age and vary considerably within species.
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Re: Please Help ID tortoise

Unread postby Wholt » Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:18 am

In terms of size this specimen was around 30cm in length

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Imberbe
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Re: Please Help ID tortoise

Unread postby Imberbe » Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:43 am

Then it is a Speke's. The Natal HT will only reach approx. half that length.

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Tortoise: Speke's Hinged

Unread postby charbel » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:40 pm

Hi friends,
After a travel to KNP, I am now working on the identification of all the (many) animals we saw. The tortoise in the photos gave me some trouble. I finally identified it as a Speke's hinged tortoise (Kinixys spekii). Do you agree?

Image

Image

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Re: Identification help: Speke's hinged tortoise

Unread postby michel367 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:45 pm

:hmz: :hmz: :hmz: :hmz:
It looks like a very wet Leopard Tortoise, but I would go for Terrapin.
A Serrated Hinge Terrapin. :thumbs_up:

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charbel
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Re: Identification help: Speke's hinged tortoise

Unread postby charbel » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:01 pm

I thought about a serrated hinged terrapin, but when I look at the pictures at http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/rep ... nuatus.htm, the shell looks very different....

Charbel

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Re: Identification help: Speke's hinged tortoise

Unread postby michel367 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:07 pm

Yep. Puzzled with that too, but as far as I know only the Serrated Hinge Terrapin and the Marsh Terrapin originates in Kruger. :hmz: :hmz:

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charbel
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Re: Identification help: Speke's hinged tortoise

Unread postby charbel » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:09 pm

I think there are more tortoises and terrapins there, for instance, we saw many leopard tortoises....

There is a page for Speke's Hinged Tortoise related to Kruger: http://www.krugerpark.co.za/africa_spek ... toise.html

In this page, it is also mentioned in a range of distribution that would include Kruger:
http://nlbif.eti.uva.nl/bis/turtles.php ... ten&id=352

But I agree it is puzzling... What made me think of this species was the elongated carapace... For instance, in the picture shown in the last webpage the carapace looks quite similar...

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Charbel

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Re: Identification help: Speke's hinged tortoise

Unread postby o-dog » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:49 pm

Hi...saw plenty of these now in KNP as well as leopard Tortoises and Terrapins. This is definately not a leopard tortoise or a terrapin. I am going for Speke's Hinged Tortoise...Im pretty sure its that.
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charbel
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Re: Identification help: Speke's hinged tortoise

Unread postby charbel » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:28 pm

Yes, I looked at some more website... I definitely go for Speke's hinged tortoise. It is very helpful, anyway, to discuss with you all here. Thanks!

We saw many leopard tortoises crossing the roads in KNP, but only this Speke's hinged tortoise...

One fantastic thing we saw in S44, going from Olifants to Letaba: in a small pond, 23 terrapins and one young nile crocodile just besides our car, the terrapins passing over the crocodile all the time, while it remained rather motionless... but the terrapins funnily moved towards our car with their heads and necks very stretched, looked intensely at all, turned back and returned to water, just for us to watch another set of terrapins coming again.... very interesting indeed!

Do someone else saw this behavior?

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Charbel


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