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DescriptionThe African spurred tortoise is the largest tortoise of the African mainland, and is surpassed in size only by the giant island species from Aldabra and Galápagos (4) (5). This desert-dwelling tortoise is well camouflaged by its overall sandy coloration (6), having thick golden to yellow-brown skin and a brownish carapace (4) (5). The broad, oval carapace displays prominent serrations at the front and back margins and conspicuous growth rings on each scute, which become particularly marked with age (4). Large, overlapping scales cover the front surface of the forelimbs, while the hind surface of the thigh bears two or three large conical spurs, from which the species earns its name (4) (5).