Sexing A Tortoise

A male tortoise's tail
Sexing a tortoise isn't like sexing a mammal. Our private parts are really, really private! We keep them tucked inside where they will be safe.

But when you know what to look for, sexing a tortoise or a turtle is pretty easy.

You can look at two body parts to know whether you are looking at a boy or a girl.

Look at the tail

A tortoise tail tells a tale. (That's a kind of tortoise joke.)

Male tortoises and turtles have bigger and longer tails than female tortoises and turtles do. That's because the males use their tails to hold onto females when they are mating.

Look at the shell

A tortoise shell is in two parts, a top and a bottom. To sex a tortoise or a turtle, you have to look at the plastron. That's the bottom shell.

A male tortoise plastron is concave. I always remember the word cave inside of concave. That means it has a hollow--cave--part made to fit the top shell of the female tortoise when the two mate.

Keep it slow and steady.

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