Tortoise Glossary Terms

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Glossary Terms:  R


A population of a species distinguishable from the rest of that species.  A subspecies.

Radiated tortoise:   

Geochelone radiata.


The geographic area in which a particular species is known to occur naturally.

Redfoot  Tortoise:    

Geochelone carbonaria.

Reflector lamps:   

A type of incandescent lighting with an interior coating of aluminum that reflects light to the front of the bulb.  Designed to spread and direct light over specific areas, they are used mainly as a basking bulb.  The degree of heat reaching the tortoise is controlled by it being attached to a thermostat.


Relating to the Kidneys.

Renal Failure: 

The condition in which the kidneys fail to function properly.  May be acute or chronic.


A cold-blooded, usually egg-laying vertebrate of the class Reptilia, (Animal)
such as a snake, lizard, crocodile, turtle, or dinosaur, having an external covering of scales or horny plates and breathing by means of lungs.


Fluorescent tube light providing UVB for tortoises.  A reflector cover increases the amount of UVB received by the tortoise.  Requires replacing after 6 months continuous use.


An electrolyte probiotic and energy drink for debilitated tortoises in need of a pick me up.

Rostrum (Rostal):   

Relating to the rostrum - the nose and area surrounding the nostrils and front of the top lip.

Round worm:   

Roundworms (Sulcascaris & Anqusticaecum in chelonians) are very common parasites in tortoises.  They are one of the largest nematodes that can be seen by the naked eye.

Runny nose syndrome (RNS):   

A term used to describe a bacterial/fungal/viral infection with one or more of a wide variety of organisms affecting the upper respiratory tract and in particular the sinuses and nasal area.  It has the potential of developing in the lower respiratory tract affecting the trachea and lungs leading to pneumonia.  Requires urgent veterinary treatment.

Russian tortoise:   

Agrinonemys horsfieldii; Horsfield tortoise (refer to relevant tortoise ID sections for species detail). Also called Central Asian tortoise, Steppe tortoise, Four-toed tortoise, Afghan tortoise.  Formerly classified (and still referred to by some) as Testudo horsfieldii.



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