Questions about size and age in marginated tortoises


New Member
May 27, 2017
Location (City and/or State)
Hi, I'm new to tortoises and I'm wondering which size marginated tortoises should be at certain ages? Mine is about 6 cm long, does anyone know how old he might be? I've had him for about a month (don't actually know if it's a male yet, I just call him a he anyway) and he hasn't really grown since I got him. Is that normal? I'm sorry if there is already a similar thread on this forum, I tried searching for one but did not find exactly what I was looking for.


Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Feb 27, 2009
Location (City and/or State)
The Catskill Mountains of New York State
Size at any given point in the growth stage (up to a fully mature adult) is relevant to environment. Diet & hydration quantity & quality, activity, based on temperatures, light & environmental conditions all play a role in tortoises growth. There is no real "rule of thumb" for growth. But fast growth should not be encouraged. Assuming all conditions are very good to ideal in captivty a hatchling Marginated tortoise will usually double it's size in it's first year. So a baby born at about 3.8cm will usually grow to about 7.6 cm in a years time. Assuming that average, your tortoise could be around 8-11 months old. It's difficult to tell for certain without knowing how the tortoise was being kept before you got him.
Your tortoise is going to have to be at least 10 centimeters, possibly bigger, to be able to accurately determine the gender of. Marginateds are one of the very few species that are very difficult to tell at a young age. They don't usually begin to display gender characteristics until nearly half grown.

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