Aldabra Tortoise

Geochelone gigantea

Class: Reptilia Order: Testudines Family: Testudinidae

Size

Weight: 300-550 lbs

Diet

Aldabra tortoises are herbivores and feed on leaves, grasses, fruit, and flowers.

Lifespan

Up to 150+ years

Habitat & Range

Grasslands, mangrove swamps, and coastal dunes of the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, located north of Madagascar

Interesting Facts

  • Aldabra tortoises are the world’s second largest tortoise species, and some males reach 550 lbs in weight. The largest species of tortoise is the Galapagos tortoise.
  • A tortoise’s shell is part of its body’s skeleton, so tortoises cannot leave their shells. The top part of the shell is called a carapace, and the underside is called the plastron. The shell provides the tortoise with protection from predators.
  • These large tortoises are very strong and can knock down small trees to find leaves to eat. When they do this, they create pathways for other animals.

Conservation Status

Vulnerable

Threats

These tortoises are threatened by poaching and loss of habitat due to human encroachment.