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That's One Tiny Tortoise

(Image credit: © ZSL)

This baby Egyptian tortoise at the Zoological Society of London's Whipsnade Zoo is only slightly bigger than this green grape.

Egyptian tortoises, also known as Kleinmann's tortoises (Testudo kleinmanni), are the smallest tortoises in the northern hemisphere. Mature tortoises grow to about lengths of about 4-6 inches (10-15 centimeters), according to the Bristol Zoo.

Native a narrow strip of desert from Libya to Israel, the species is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

The tortoises live in deserts and semi-arid regions, though their habitat has been virtually destroyed in Egypt, where they are now virtually extinct.

This little tortoise was part of a small litter born to a group of tortoises that were destined for the illegal pet trade but were seized by British customs officials last year.

Weighing in at just 0.2 ounces (6 grams) on hatching, this little guy will eventually grow to about 18 ounces (500 g).

Live Science Staff
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