Tortoise Glossary Terms

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Glossary Terms:  E


The ears (tympanic membrane) are by far the most common site for abscesses in tortoises.


"Cold-blooded" mainly relies upon environmental sources to sustain body temperature by utilising warm and cool zones in the environment, rather than its own metabolism; e.g. a tortoise.

Egg caruncle:   

See egg tooth.

Egg tooth:   

Also known as egg caruncle.  Not a true tooth.  Used by the hatching tortoise to pierce the eggshell.

Egg bound/retention:

A potentially life-threatening condition that prevents a female reptile from laying her eggs.  Often caused by lack of suitable egg laying sites.

Egyptian tortoise:   

Testudo kleinmanni.  Classified as an endangered species by CITES and the World Conservation Union.

Elongated tortoise:   

Indotestudo elongata.


An area, indoors or outdoors, in which a tortoise is kept surrounded by a fence, wall, or other boundary.

Endangered Species:   

An animal that is considered to be in danger of extinction.

Endemic species:   

A species native to a particular region.


“Warm blooded”.  An animal which self-generates heat by metabolic action, e.g.  a mammal.

Environmental sex determination (ESD):   

Sex of the hatchling is not determined genetically, but by the temperature the eggs are incubated at.  Higher incubation temperatures generally result in more female hatchlings, although this does not apply to all species. 


See aestivate.


See ectothermic and cold-blooded.


A species in which all living examples have died.

Eye infection (ocular infection):   

Infection which often starts in the cornea and is usually easy to treat.



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