Aldabra Tortoise

Aldabra Tortoise
Geochelone gigantea

Quick Facts

Aldabra Tortoise

Found:  Aldabra Island in Indian Ocean
Size:   Approximately 3 to 4 feet tall
Weight:  Average 500 to 600 pounds
Diet:  grasses, leaves, woody plants
Life Span:  Average 100 years
Status:  Endangered

The Aldabra tortoise is the second largest tortoise in the world. The largest is the Galapagos tortoise.  They can weigh more than 500 pounds, with a shell more than five feet long.  Males are much larger than females. They have long necks that extend out to be able to reach plants that grow up to three feet tall.  They are active during the day, but try to avoid the midday heat by cooling off in ponds or mud holes or hanging out in the shade under a tree.  The Aldabra tortoise is the last known survivor of a group of giant tortoises once found on Madagascar and the Seychelles Islands. People over-hunted the other species, wiping them out completely. The Aldabra tortoise almost suffered the same fate.  Fortunately, the Seychelles government stepped in to protect the remaining Aldabra tortoises. This protection, combined with an international agreement that restricts trade in the species, has helped the reptiles begin to recover.

Aldabra Tortoise  Aldabra Tortoise  Aldabra Tortoise