Mojave Max

Glossary

Brumation

To spend the winter months in a dormant state.

Burrow

A hole or tunnel in the ground made by a tortoise or other animal for habitation and refuge. A tortoise may have several burrows in the area where they live.

Carapace

A top part of the shell covering some, or all, of the tortoise.

Clutch

All of the eggs produced by a tortoise at a single time.

Ectotherm

An animal whose body temperature is regulated by the surrounding environment.

Emergence

The act or process of emerging, as from a burrow. Tortoises emerge from their burrow in the spring when the weather is warmer and the daylight hours are longer. Tortoises also rely on their internal clock to let them know when it's time to emerge.

Gular Horn

An extension of the tortoise's plastron, toward the front of the tortoise. The gular horn on a male tortoise is longer than a female's and it is used for fighting.

Hatchling

A young reptile that has recently emerged from an egg.

Herbivore

An animal that feeds on grass and other plants.

Plastron

The bottom part of the shell of a tortoise.

Reptile

An ectothermic vertebrate. Reptiles crawl on the ground and they have scales or scutes, rather than fur or feathers.

Scute

A bony plate on the carapace of the tortoise. Tortoises are born with thirteen scutes on their shell and this number never changes. The scutes are made of the same material as your fingernails.