Illustrated tortoise diet!

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Illustrated tortoise diet!

Post  Admin on Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:49 am

The tortoise is a living fossil having survived since the dawn of the age of reptiles, 200 million years ago. Collection for exportation and habitat destruction have dramatically reduced populations in their native homeland around the Mediterranean like France, Spain, Italy, the former Yugoslavia, Turkey, Greece and northern Africa. In Britain, with wet summers and long cold damp winters, they are outside their distribution range, however if basic guidelines are followed, a captive tortoise can have as long and happy a life as possible. Mediterranean tortoises in the wild there diet would consist of mainly flowers, stalks, and green leaves. They rarely encounter fruit, and never encounter tinned dog food, ice-cream, bread, pizza, cheese, cakes or some of the other bizarre food products some people seem to think they require. In captivity, a high fiber, low protein and calcium-rich diet will ensure good digestive tract function and smooth shell growth.Avoid reliance upon ‘supermarket’ greens and fruits which typically contain inadequate fiber levels, excessive pesticide residues, and are too rich in sugar. Fruit should be given very sparingly or not at all as it frequently leads to diarrhea, If your tortoise has the run of a garden it will forage quite successfully for itself on charlock, chickweed, clover, dandelion, groundsel, plantains, sow thistle and vetches and the leaves of plants and bushes like buddlea, ice plant, lilac, rose and bramble. Beware of weedkillers and slug pellets.tortoises are opportunistic feeders and they will on occasion tackle carrion and dung. Their digestive systems are, however, geared towards the digestion of leaves, including cellulose, so a wide variety of greens must be offered and the diet should be as varied as possible I have put together a illustrated flower and edible weed diet guide:

Honeysuckle
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Bindweed
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Mallows
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Nipplewort
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Milkthistle
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Chicory
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Common vetch
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Shepards purse
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Speed well
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Campanula
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Hosta
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White clover
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Dead nettle
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Aloe vera
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Hibiscus
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Petunia
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Bittercrest
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Dandelion
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Red clover
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Prickly pear
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Plaintain
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Slender plantain
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