These tortoises thrive in the desert where the extremely dry soil crumbles easily. This allows them to easily burrow deep underground to escape the extreme heat and freezing temperatures that can occur.
Recognized for their high-domed shells that are dark brown or tan with green tint. Males are slightly larger than females, with longer nails and a slightly concave lower shell.
Herbivore diet consisting mainly of grasses, flowers, young cactus, herbs and fruit.
Reproduction & Lifespan
Mating takes place in the autumn and the spring. Females lay clutches of up to 8 hard shelled eggs that can resemble ping pong balls. They incubate for up to 4 months before hatching. Tortoises grow slowly, reaching maturity around 16 to 20 years. Their lifespans can last from 50 to 80 years.
Desert tortoises get most of their water intake from the plants that they consume, and when they do find water, they can increase their body mass by up to 40% just by their drinking alone. This allows an adult to survive for up to a year without taking another drink!