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It isn’t too challenging to figure out how the red footed tortoise got its name.
There is the tortoise….and then there are all those red dots.
Considering this species’ formal scientific name is Chelonoidis carbonaria, that gives us one more good reason to be grateful for simple, easy-to-pronounce common species names.
While their common name suggests that red footed tortoises only have red coloration on their feet, actually they can have colors anywhere they want to have them. For example, most red footed tortoises have red dots on their legs, and often on their necks, heads and faces as well.
Here, it is also worth mentioning that when it comes to this creative and colorful tortoise, the description “red” is a relative term. The dots, splashes and patches of color can range from a very light pink or even yellow/orange to a very dark burnt red or maroon color.
Also, some red footed tortoises will have more red dots than others of the same species. For this, it’s all in the luck of the draw (or what scientists like to call “DNA”).