Chaco tortoise

Chelonoidis chilensis

The Chaco tortoise , also known as the Argentine tortoise or southern wood tortoise, is a tortoise from the family Testudinidae.
Chilean Tortoise (Chelonoidis chilensis) Taken in July 2015, at the São Paulo Zoo, in Brazil. Known as Jabuti-argentino, in Portuguese. Brazil,Chaco tortoise,Cheloniidae,Chelonoidis,Chelonoidis chilensis,Geotagged,South America,Winter. Chilean tortoise,reptile,tortoise

Appearance

The carapace can measure up to 43.3 cm and may be either totally yellowish brown or have dark-brown to black rings surrounding a tan center on each scute. Specimens found further south tend to be much larger than those found in further north populations. The rim of the shell is slightly serrated and has a dark wedge of pigment at the back edge of each scute. The plastron may be uniformly yellowish-brown or have a dark triangular wedge along the seams of each scute. The head, limbs and tail are greyish to yellowish-brown, with the front of each forelimb covered with large, angular scales and each thigh featuring several enlarged tubercles.

Naming

As of right now, there is only one recognized species. However, some researchers believe ''C. chilensis'' should be divided into three species: ''C. chilensis'', ''C. petersi'', and ''C. donosobarrosi''. Some support ''C. donosobarrosi'' as a subspecies . There is research to indicate that it may qualify as a separate species, while ''C. petersi'' may just be a variant of ''C. chilensis'', the variances being clinal variations in adjacent populations. However, these taxa mentioned have all been formally synonymised and accepted. The morphological variation is explainable as a factor of elevation. Historically, these have been viewed as separate taxa, with little work done to confirm or deny it. Subsequent molecular analysis has found little to no genetic variation.

Distribution

The common Chaco tortoise, is mainly found in Argentina, but also in Bolivia and Paraguay, mainly within the Chaco and Monte ecoregions. Its distribution is mainly limited by temperature-related variables, and precipitation in the reproductive period.

Status

As of right now, there is only one recognized species. However, some researchers believe ''C. chilensis'' should be divided into three species: ''C. chilensis'', ''C. petersi'', and ''C. donosobarrosi''. Some support ''C. donosobarrosi'' as a subspecies . There is research to indicate that it may qualify as a separate species, while ''C. petersi'' may just be a variant of ''C. chilensis'', the variances being clinal variations in adjacent populations. However, these taxa mentioned have all been formally synonymised and accepted. The morphological variation is explainable as a factor of elevation. Historically, these have been viewed as separate taxa, with little work done to confirm or deny it. Subsequent molecular analysis has found little to no genetic variation.

Food

Like all tortoise species, the chaco tortoise is primarily herbivorous, consuming grasses, shrubs, fruits, and cactus pads.

References:

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Status: Vulnerable
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassReptilia
OrderTestudines
FamilyTestudinidae
GenusChelonoidis
SpeciesC. chilensis
Photographed in
Brazil