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Bell's hinged tortoise is active during the wet season, spending the dry season aestivating in a burrow or in the mud at the bottom of drying waterholes (3) (5). The diet is varied and includes vegetation, such as leaves, grasses and sedges, as well as fallen fruits, sugarcane, fungi, insects, millipedes, snails and even carrion (3) (5) (9). Breeding is thought to occur during the wetter months, when the female excavates a hole into which up to ten elongate, brittle-shelled eggs are laid (2) (3) (5). Laying can occur at 40 day intervals, up to 45 eggs being laid in total over the breeding season (2) (4). Incubation may last between 90 and 110 days, or possibly up to a year (4) (5). The hatchlings measure a mere four centimetres or so in length (3) (4) (5) and are often uniformly yellowish, reddish or olive brown in colour, or with dark brown scutes surrounded by yellow borders (3). Bell's hinged tortoise can live up to 22 years in captivity (4) (5).


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Source: ARKive

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