Temporal range: Miocene to present
Geochelone is a genus of tortoises.
Geochelone tortoises, which are also known as typical tortoises or terrestrial turtles, can be found in southern Asia. They primarily eat plants.
The genus consists of two extant species:
|Image||Common Name||Scientific name||Distribution|
|Indian star tortoise||Geochelone elegans||India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.|
|Burmese star tortoise||Geochelone platynota||Myanmar|
A number of tortoise species have been recently removed from the genus. This taxon as formerly defined was "polyphyletic, representing at least five independent clades". Tortoises removed include members of Aldabrachelys (from the Seychelles and Madagascar), Astrochelys (Madagascar), Chelonoidis (South America and the Galápagos Islands), Stigmochelys and Centrochelys (Africa), and the extinct Megalochelys (southern Asia). These species are also unique for their ability to remember patterns and spatial pathways. Similar to mammals, these tortoises can remember directions and pathways by remembering the correct pathways in their long-term memory.
The form of the shell of the Indian star tortoise resembles a gömböc, allowing it to turn over when lying upside down very easily.