One of the most popular breed in tortoise domestication is the Russian tortoise, also go by several other names like – Horsefield tortoise or Steppe tortoise etc.
They are usually found in dry climates – like deserts and grassland areas of countries like China, Iran, Russia and Pakistan. They thrive in an environment that has equal amount of daylight and darkness. They can even survive in an extreme cold condition.
Russian tortoises are reddish brown or black in color, are small sized – with a size range of 13–25 cm and have four toes. They are extremely active in nature. They don’t like enclosures and if put in one, they will try their best to escape either by digging or climbing over.
They do not eat or digest meat and are totally herbivorous. Their diet comprises of green leaves, weeds, flowers like Marshmallow, Chicory, Dandelion, English Daisy etc. Food consisting of Oxalic acid or Phytic acid are poisonous for them. They also need plenty of water.
Any deprivation of food or water can make them mentally inactive or lethargic. Though sometimes, they voluntarily aestivate (not moving for several weeks), to avoid extreme heat conditions. And during the winter period (usually from October to March), Russian tortoise go into the hibernation.
The following infographic gives you an overview about the Russian Tortoise-