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Greek tortoise

(Testudo hermanni)

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Description

The Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca), also known commonly as the spur-thighed tortoise, is a species of tortoise in the family Testudinidae. Testudo graeca is one of five species of Mediterranean tortoises (genera Testudo and Agrionemys). The other four species are Hermann's tortoise (T. hermanni), the Egyptian tortoise (T. kleinmanni), the marginated tortoise (T. marginata), and the Russian tortoise (A. horsfieldii). The Greek tortoise is a very long-lived animal, achieving a lifespan upwards of 125 years, with some unverified reports up to 200 years. The Greek tortoise's geographic range includes North Africa, Southern Europe, and Southwest Asia. It is prevalent in the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus (from Anapa, Russia, to Sukhumi, Abkhazia, Georgia, to the south), as well as in other regions of Georgia, Armenia, Iran, and Azerbaijan. The oldest known definitive fossil is from the Early Pliocene of Greece, but specimens referred to as Testudo cf. graeca are known from the Late and Middle Miocene in Greece and Turkey. The Greek tortoise (T. g. ibera) is often confused with Hermann's tortoise (T. hermanni). However, notable differences enable them to be distinguished.

Taxonomic tree:

Domain:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum:
Class: Reptilia
Order:Testudines
Family:Testudinidae
Genus:Testudo
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