Tortoise Glossary Terms

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Glossary Terms:  G

Galápagos tortoise:   

Geochelone Nigra.


Pertaining to genes and inheritance. 


The genetic composition of an animal.  The genes being passed to subsequent generations.

Genus (pl. Genera):   

The taxonomic category for a group of related animals below Family and above Species.  A subdivision of Family. 

Geochelone (G):   

A genus of tortoises which include the following species:

Geochelone carbonaria:   

Red-footed tortoise.

Geochelone chilensis:

Chaco tortoise.

Geochelone denticulata:

Yellow-footed tortoise.

Geochelone elegens:

Indian star tortoise.

Geochelone flavomarginatus:

Mexican Tortoise.

Geochelone gigantea:

Aldabra Giant Tortoise.  Now re-classified as Dipsochelys dussumieri; also formerly classified as Dipsochelys elephantina.

Geochelone Nigra:

Galápagos Tortoise.

Geochelone pardalis:   

Leopard Tortoise.

Geochelone pardalis babcocki:

Subspecies of the Geochelone pardalis tortoise.

Geochelone pardalis pardalis:

Subspecies of the Geochelone pardalis tortoise.

Geochelone platynota:   

Burmese star tortoise.

Geochelone radiata:   

Radiated tortoise.

Geochelone sulcata:   

African Spurred Tortoise.

Geochelone Yniphora:   

Angonoko Tortoise, Ploughshare tortoise.

Geometric tortoise:   

Psammobates geometricus.


The period of time in pregnancy from egg fertilisation until egg-laying.

Golden Greek tortoise:   

Testudo graeca flowerii; Middle Eastern spur-thighed tortoise.

Gopherus agassizii:   

Desert tortoise.

Gopherus berlandieri:   

Texas tortoise.

Gopherus flavomarginatus:   

Bolson’s tortoise.

Gopherus polyphemus:   

Gopherus tortoise.

Gopherus tortoise; (Gopher Tortoise):

Gopherus polyphemus.


A term used to describe a female tortoise which is carrying eggs.

Greek tortoise: 

Testudo graeca ibera.


Living or congregating in groups.


In tortoises usually refers to the first pair of plastral scutes directly below and behind the head.


The whole of the alimentary canal from the mouth to the cloaca or the lower part of it, (the intestine).

Gut flora:   

The normal balance of microflora and protozoa’s found in the alimentary tract.


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