The tail of the young tortoise is long

TCD MS 10516 folio 66 recto

TCD MS 10516 folio 66 recto

[12th October 1916] line of the carapace was raised into a prominent ridge and a sharp longditudinal fold appeared on either side of the shell between its margin and the middle line. As the tortoise grows the ridge and folds gradually disappear, and in the fully develop specimen are distinguishable only by faint lines on a uniformly rounded shell. The tail of the young tortoise is long, flexible and lacertine in appearance. At birth it is almost the length of the animals shell. As the tortoise grows the tail undergoes but little development. When the tortoise has reached twice its size at birth, the tail has diminished to half the length of the shell; when it reaches adult life, the tail has shrunk to a stiff, stunted, atrophied protuberance but one fifth of the length of the shell.