The Burmese star tortoise (Geochelone platynota) is clearly an absolutely gorgeous tortoise. A stunning display of yellow, flower-petal-like striations appear on each scute, and when viewed from above, the carapace exhibits a netted, somewhat symmetrical pattern. The Burmese typically features six points to the striation on each scute. The net-like pattern on the carapace is a result of the points of each striation (lines) joining at the scute seams. These lines don’t change though out their lifetime, meaning they don’t grow more lines like their look-a-like, the Indian star tortoise. In contrast, the Indian star tortoise (G. elegans) has a higher-domed carapace with striations that have more than six points on each scute. These points or rays increase in number as a tortoise grows, eventually resembling lines more than flower petals.
Females are typically larger, surpassing 12 inches regularly, and even reaching more than 14 inches, but males can come close or get just as big.
Sadly, the future of the Burmese star tortoise in nature is very uncertain. It seems that despite the efforts of conservation organizations to reintroduce specimens into the wild, their small numbers are still devastated as illegal poaching reaches a cataclysmic state. Their status in captivity, however, is on the other end of the spectrum, which does provide a glimmer of hope. Serious enthusiasts in various countries, including the U.S., are experiencing breeding success. (Chris Leone, The Burmese Star Tortoise <www.reptilesmagazine.com>).
*The hatchlings here at Tortstork are 100% captive bred.