Galapagos Turtle (Geochelone nigra)

The Galapagos Tortoise can only be found on the coast of the Galapagos Islands: the islands famous for Darwin's discoveries off of the coast of Ecuador. They are found in moist areas as well as dryer parts of the islands and can be found as far as the volcanic inland. The islands are a warmer climate with tropical waters.

The Galapagos Tortoise is an extremely large tortoise adapted for a life without any predators. The tortoise can swim however very slowly and moves at a tremendously slow pace. Some of the species have the ability to extend their necks in order to reach higher fruits and leaves. The turtle is a sandy colour which could be useful as camouflage however there are no natural predators on the island.

The tortoises will mate in late June to December when the weather is cooler. A female can have as many as four clutches, (a group of eggs laid at one time) in a year. The amount of eggs depends on the size of the female. A clutch can have 2 to 19 eggs that are about 2.2 inches in diameter. The eggs will be laid inland from the water, when the eggs hatch after an incubation time of 85 to 200 days the young will have to depend on themselves for survival. The mother will not teach the newly hatched any survival skills that they will need throughout their lifetime.

The tortoises are herbivores, which means that they only feed on vegetation. They will eat many different types of leaves and fruits and even eat cacti as a source of nutrition. The tortoise does not have any predators on the island, although pollution and touristy to the islands has affected their population numbers as livestock creates competition for food and damage to their eggs. An interesting relationship that occurs is between the Galapagos tortoises and Darwin's finches. The finches are known to eat the ticks and insects off of the shells of the tortoises.

Body Length 1.30 metres
Tail Length N/A
Wingspan N/A
Life Span 120.00 - 152.00 years
Weight 226.80 kilograms