Cherryhead Tortoise Young Adult (apparent female)

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Common Name: "Cherryhead" or "Brazilian" Redfoot Tortoise
Scientific Name: Geochelone Carbonaria
Current Size: 7-8" range
Average Adult Size: 9-12"
Area of Origin: Brazil

Description: Black shell color, usually with yellow highlights in the centers of each scute of their shell, which are present from hatching (the black color grows in with age). This type of redfoot tortoise is more contrasted than the standard redfoot tortoises. The skin is black, with bright red spots on the front and rear legs. Head color is generally black skin with blood red markings (instead of the normal orange or yellow scales present on standard redfoots). We consider them "watermelon" shaped; somewhat elongated and rounded, no matter which angle you're looking at them from.

Habitat: Naturally these tortoises exist in a jungle edge habitat with moderate to high humidity and moderate temperatures. They can handle variable amounts of humidity in captivity once grown, but babies should be kept humid to ensure proper smooth growth. They do not hibernate, but will go through a winter slow down period during cooler weather and shortened daylengths. As adults, they can safely handle body temperatures as low as 45 degrees at night as long as they are able to heat up into the 70's during the day. Summer highs up to 100 degrees can be tolerated as long as there is a cooler, shaded retreat the tortoise can get into. Moisture is not a problem in warmer temperatures (a cool mud hole on a hot day), but in cooler weather and on cold nights, the tortoises should be kept dry.

Diet: This tortoise is naturally a browser, and will wander about munching on broadleaf plants and fallen fruit the majority of its natural life. They are known to eat meat in the wild, seen eating dead animals, worms and snails. In captivity, redfoot tortoises will eat almost anything well, such as leafy weeds and clover (dandelions are a favorite), fruit, vegetables and they love Mazuri tortoise diet.

Adult Behavior: Adult cherryhead tortoises are interactive and curious tortoises. They are usually unaggressive towards eachother and can usually be kept long term in mixed-sex groups. They are not damaging to their environment, rarely digging holes or burrows. Most redfoots will eagerly come to their keepers looking for food once they are comfortable in their environments.

Our Current Care:  These tortoises were held back in about 2012 to raise us some future breeders. We have decided against a heavy cherryhead group here in the desert, so this young adult group is being made for sale. They were raised here in Las Vegas, and have been housed outdoors 9 months of the year under shade cloth and sprinkler watering multiple times a day to keep them cool and humid. We bring them indoors for the winter, generally about 3 months where they live in large stock tanks for the coldest months.