The elongated tortoise (Indotestudo elongata) is a species of tortoise found in Southeast Asia and parts of the Indian Subcontinent, particularly Nepal. Typically, Indotestudo elongata are around 30 cm (12 inches) long and 3.5 kg (7 pounds) as an adult. Females tend to be wider than males and more rounded. Males also have a tail that is much larger than that of the female. The males have a concave plastron while the plastron of a female is flat. Additionally, the female’s posterior claws are markedly longer and more curved than those of the male. It is believed that this is to facilitate nest building.
The elongated tortoise is an endangered species and is in severe decline across its natural range.
The principal threats to this species are the mass harvesting of the remaining wild populations for the large and growing food markets in China and elsewhere in East Asia. It is also incorrectly believed in China that a mixture, made by grinding up the tortoise’s shell, serves as an aphrodisiac.
In addition, other threats are habitat destruction and illegal collecting for the pet trade.