Aldabra Tortoise

Aldabra Tortoise

Aldabra Tortoise
Geochelone gigantea


CLASS
Reptilia
ORDER
Chelonia
FAMILY
Testudinidae

Range

Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles Islands of the Indian Ocean


Habitat

Semi-arid grasslands, scrub, mangrove swamp, and coastal dune


Diet

Mainly grasses, sedges, herbs, and woody plants.

Weight

MALE Avg. 400 lbs.
FEMALE Avg. 300 lbs.

Size

MALE Avg. 4 ft.
FEMALE Avg. 3 ft.

Incubation

About 4 months

Clutch

9 to 25 eggs

IUCN Status

Vulnerable

Facts

  • At birth, young Aldabra tortoises are only about three inches long, but they can grow to over 4 feet long and weigh more than 500 pounds.
  • Because they are so heavy, Aldabra tortoises are terrible swimmers, but enjoy cooling off in shallow water and mud.
  • Their high shell allows them to release heat.
  • Tortoises have been known to knock over small trees and shrubs to obtain nutritious leaves. This makes pathways and clearings within the forestlands for other animals.
  • No one knows exactly how long these animals are capable of living, but they are believed to easily surpass 100 years.

 

Conservation

The Aldabra tortoise was near extinction at the turn of the 20th century.

Hunting by sailors and predation upon eggs and hatchlings by introduced species such as pigs, rats, and cats wiped out the other 18 species of tortoises that inhabited Madagascar and the Seychelles Islands.

However, conservation efforts and international trade regulations have helped the population to increase, although they still remain threatened.

Vulnerable

Open Daily 9 am - 5 pm

Closed only Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year's Day

Address

Alexandria Zoo
3016 Masonic Drive
Alexandria, LA 71301
P: (318) 441-6810

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