Moroccan tortoise; Same clutch, completely different looking.

The Moroccan tortoise (Testudo graeca marokkensis) is commonly called “the Moroccan Greek” because it is a member of the Testudo grace species. The only reason its a part of that family is because the man who discovered this species thought the shell pattern resembled that of a Greek tortoise.The funny thing is, the Moroccan tortoise doesn’t even live in Greece at all.  The Moroccan tortoise is from Africa.

I shipped two Moroccan tortoises to Gainsville, Florida.  They were laid on 3/7/19, shipped 5/14/19, delivered 5/15/19, and hatched on two different days.  #75 hatched 6 days after being delivered, on 5/21/19, for a total of 75 days of development, and is a light colored pattern.  #76 hatched 13 days after being delivered, on 5/28/19, for a total of 82 days of development and is a dark colored pattern.

Its interesting to me that these eggs were from the same female, laid seconds apart, incubated at the same temperature, shipped in the same package, yet hatched 7 days apart.  The other interesting thing about these two Moroccan tortoises is they look nothing alike.  One is light and the other is dark.  Genetics and mother nature never seize to amaze me.  Some experts say that light colored Moroccan’s are from North Africa and the darker Moroccan’s are from Southern Africa.  The particular female who laid these eggs is a Southern Moroccan tortoise.  She has been pure from the day we imported her into the country.  I can only assume that regardless of the color as a hatchling, as they grow they will get darker with time.

 

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