Scientific Name: Chelonoidis carbonaria
Testudines (tortoises and turtles)

Testudinidae (tortoises)

Habitat & Range
Red-footed tortoises are distributed throughout Central and South America. They can be found in both dry grasslands and humid forests. Their preferred environment has a fairly consistent temperature between 68 and 90 degrees. Most of their range experiences cooler wet seasons and warmer dry seasons.

Name:RIO (male)
Location: "The Bayou"
Born: 06/16/2002
Arrived at EPZ:06/16/2002
Become my ZooParent and support your favorite Elmwood Park Zoo animal! Click here to get started. Learn more about the ZooParent Program by clicking here.
Red-footed tortoises have an average body length of 30 centimeters. As they mature, both sexes develop a unique mid body constriction (sometimes referred to as a waist), which from a top view gives them an hourglass shape. This constriction is much more evident in males. During maturation they also undergo a color change; juveniles have a pale yellow or ivory colored shell, which eventually turns dark brown with pale yellow spots. The scales on the legs and tail can vary from yellow to dark cherry red; males seem to be more brightly colored. They have red-orange scales on all four feet, from which their name is derived.

The bulk of a red-footed tortoise’s diet is made up of tropical fruits and seeds, such as those from cacti, figs and bromeliad. They also consume grasses, leaves, flowers, roots and shoots from a variety of plants.

Reproduction & Lifespan
Red-footed tortoises are most active after the rainy season, which is when mating occurs. Clutches of 5 to 15 eggs are typically laid between July and September. The incubation period varies based on temperature, but averages 100 to 200 days. During courtship and copulation, males are sometimes heard making a clucking sound reminiscent of a hen.

The lifespan of a red-footed tortoise is estimated at 50 to 60 years in captivity.

Copyright 2015 Elmwood Park Zoo



Quick Links:

1661 Harding Blvd
Norristown, PA 19401

Main Number: 800.652.4143
Fax Number: 610.292.0332



Philadelphia Website Design by
Mind Fire Creative