The Horsefield tortoise goes by many names, such as central Asian tortoise, Russian tortoise, Russian Steppe tortoise, Testudo Horsefieldi, the four clawed tortoise and afghan tortoise. While they are fairly similar to a variety of tortoise, one can easily differentiate between the Horsefield and another by the four claws on each of its front feet. The round shell is generally a dark brown to olive green color. Depending on the gender, they can reach as large as 25 cm, or 9.8 inches, in length.
The Horsefield tortoise is a smaller species of tortoise. The males commonly have longer tails that they keep tucked to the side of their shell, while the females have short, stubby ones. They can have a life span of 75 years, or even more if properly cared for. They are considered excellent pets for their interest in humans, and are known to react to them favorably. As with most, they are herbivores and enjoy grasses and other sources of vegetation.
The rate of growth for a horsefield tortoise can vary greatly. There are numerous factors that go into the final size of them, including their diet and starting size. A chart was recorded that kept track of twin tortoises and their growth rates. When they first hatched, one was a mere 4 grams in weight, or 0.14 ounces, with its larger twin residing at 11 grams, or 0.38 ounces. Over the course of two years, their owner continued to make a note of their lengths and weights. After one year, the smaller was 78 grams, or 2.7 ounces, and 82.56mm (3.22 inches), with the twin reaching 82.04mm (3.25 inches). Finally, at the age of two, each were weighed again. The smaller of the two was 142.9 grams (5 ounces) and 82.56mm (3.22 inches) in length. The larger was 201.7g (7.3 ounces) and 95.97mm (3.77 inches). As you can see, the growth can vary greatly. They were not full grown when the chart stopped being updated.
There are many factors that contribute to the final size of a Horsefield tortoise. These factors include diet, starting size, gender and the environmental condition it is kept in. A well balanced diet can ensure proper shell growth in a tortoise. It is important to offer it a variety of grasses and other vegetation to ensure it doesn’t get bored with its food. You must also make sure that you aren’t feeding the animal pesticides and herbicides. The size, as a factor, involves its beginning size. For instance, if the tortoise is smaller, then it is less likely to reach the maximum size. The gender is a factor as well, since the females are the larger of the species. Finally, the environment you may keep your tortoise in can affect its final size, as it is important to ensure it the correct type of environment. Sandy oil and oyster shell is the ideal.