Aldabra Giant Tortoise

The Aldabra Giant Tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea) is a large reptile, a chelonian, from the remote Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean.

The Aldabra Giant Tortoise has a grey-brown dome-shaped carapace (shell). It has a very long neck, and dark eyes. Its legs are short and stumpy, with flat feet – it is a slow mover.

Aldabra Giant Tortoise

 

It grows to about 105 centimetres (41 inches) long.

The Aldabra Giant Tortoise prefers grasslands and swamps with low vegetation.

It is a grazer, feeding on grass. It can drink water from shallow pools through its nostrils (nose).

The female Aldabra Giant Tortoise lays about 25 eggs in a dry, shallow nest on the ground, which hatch after 8 months. The temperature of the nest determines the gender of the baby tortoises. Warm temperatures yield more females, wheras colder temperatures yield more males. This is called temperature-dependent sex determination. The babies stay in the nest for a few weeks.

Giant tortoises are among the world’s longest-living animals, with an average lifespan of 100 years.

 

Aldabra Giant Tortoise

Aldabra Giant Tortoise

Aldabra Giant Tortoise

Aldabra Giant Tortoise

Aldabra Giant Tortoise

Aldabra Giant Tortoise

Aldabra Giant Tortoise

 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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