our animals

Marginated Tortoise

Testudo Marginata

The marginated tortoise is the largest European tortoise, reaching a weight of up to 5kg (11lb) and a length of 35cm (14in). Its shell is oblong and has a notable thickness around the middle of the body. The posterior end of the shell has a saw-like formation, flanged outward like a bell. The carapace of an adult specimen is almost completely black, with yellow highlights.

Marginated tortoises are fairly calm and relaxed, although they can be somewhat territorial in the wild. They have a controlled temper and are generally slow to anger. If they are not given the proper diet in captivity, however, they will become rather aggressive and might mistakenly attack if they feel threatened.

Thanks to the cooler climates in which they inhabit, marginated tortoises are often much more active during the day when compared to other tortoise species and you will rarely find them hiding in the shade. Due to their darker coloured, they absorb a lot more heat which allows them to warm up sufficiently, even when the temperature is lower.

Marginated Tortoise

fun facts

Conservation Status:

Least concern


Southern Greece


Rocky hillsides, meadows, woodlands and scrublands


Grasses, plants, weeds

Carapace length:




Incubation period:

90-120 days

Life Span:

20-50 yrs