Galapagos Giant Tortoise

Galapagos Giant Tortoise:

Scientific Name: Chelonoidis Nigra
Family : Testudinidae
Length: Up to 187 cm
Weight : Up to 420 kg
Distribution: Galapagos Island

Galapagos Giant Tortoise

Galapagos tortoise facts

  • These giant tortoise can grow to an immense and surprising size! No wonder they are the largest living species of tortoise in the whole world

  • They can grow so big that the largest of its species found would be require 8 full grown men to even lift them from the ground.

  • These giant tortoise have a large bony shell often in a dull brown or gray color where the plates of the shell are fused with the ribs in a rigid protective structure that is integral to the skeleton

  • Its legs are large and stumpy ( front legs have five claws , back legs have only four ) with dry scaly skin and hard scales

  • These turtles have life spans  of over 100 years in the wild , easily making it one of the longest living vertebrates

  • Just like how tortoise are portrayed in cartoons they can withdraw its head , neck and fore limbs into its shell for protections

  • The "Galapagos Giant Tortoise" are native to seven of the Galapagos Islands a volcanic archipelago about 1000 km west of the Ecuadorian mainland .

  • It is believed that the Spanish explorers who discovered the islands in the 16th century named them after the Spanish Galapagos meaning tortoise

  • Despite the adult Galapagos Giant Tortoise hot having .

  • This decline is believed to be caused by depredations by humans and introduced animals over  exploitation for meat and oil, habitat clearance for agriculture and introduction of non-native animals to the island ( rats and goats)

  • The extinction of the most giant tortoise lineages is thought to have also been caused by depredation by humans or human ancestors as the tortoises themselves have no natural predators

  • According to the IUCN , the Galapagos giant tortoise is considered a vulnerable species . Their numbers have declined over many years due to mainly two reasons

  • These are believed to be caused by hunting for bush-meat or habitat loss due to deforestation ..
  • These small crocodile type tortoise are widely kept and bred in many zoo..

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