Leopard tortoise Geochelone pardalis
Incubation200–380 days depending on where they are laid
semi-desert regions, savannahs, mountains
eastern and southern Africa (Sudan, Ethiopia, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, South Africa)
Female leopard tortoises lay eggs 5–7 times during the breeding season. The sex of the young depends on the temperature during incubation. Females develop at average temperatures of 30° or more, while males generally develop at less than 30°.
On hot days, leopard tortoises hide in vegetation; on cold days, they hide in tunnels or burrows dug by other animals.
Because of its large range, this species is not considered endangered. Leopard tortoises are, however, hunted for their meat and for the illegal pet trade. Their best means of protection remains their ‘leopard’ camouflage, which allows them to blend perfectly into their surroundings.