IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

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Biology

The Egyptian tortoise is one of the most poorly understood Mediterranean tortoises (7). Courtship and mating in the wild have only been observed in March, although reproduction in captivity takes place in April and August to November (2). One of the most remarkable features of this species' breeding behaviour is the loud, distinctive vocalisation emitted by the male during mating, which has been described as similar to the sound of a mourning dove's call, and is quite unlike that of any other Mediterranean tortoise (2) (7). The male appears to ram the female during courtship, which is sometimes followed by a frantic chasing episode (2). Nests are dug in the sandy earth, into which a clutch of one to five eggs are laid (2) (7). Diet in the wild is unknown, but captive individuals will eat grasses, fruits and vegetables (2).

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Source: ARKive

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