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Galapagos Tortoise

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Galapagos Tortoise Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Reptilia
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Testudines
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Testudinidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family
Geochelone
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Geochelone Nigra
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to
Reptile
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Herbivore
Size:
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
1-1.2m (3.2-4ft)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
200-300kg (441-661lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
0.5km/h (0.3mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
100-150 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Solitary
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Endangered
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Brown, Grey
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Scales
Favourite Food:Grass
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Volcanic lowlands and shrub land
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
24
Main Prey:Grass, Fruit, Cactus
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Human, Hawk, Wild dogs
Special Features:Hard shell over body and long neck

Galapagos Tortoise Location

Map of Galapagos Tortoise Locations

Galapagos Tortoise

The Galapagos tortoise (giant Galapagos tortoise) was first documented by Charles Darwin last century when he went on his trip to the Galapagos islands.

The Galapagos Tortoise is the biggest species of tortoise in the modern world with some Galapagos tortoises reaching more than 4ft long! The Galapagos tortoise is also one the longest living species of tortoise with a number of Galapagos tortoises getting older than 150!

The Galapagos tortoise, like most other species of tortoise, is a herbivore spending its time grazing on grass and low trees. Today only 10 out of the 12 Galapagos tortoise species still exist on the Pacific islands due to the introduction of goats a few hundred years ago.

The domestic goat, stripped the islands of their good foliage meaning that the Galapagos tortoise found it hard to find food. Today the Galapagos tortoise is most well known for their long necks, which make them look slightly like a dinosaur!

The Galapagos tortoise is a very quiet, peaceful and lazy animal with the Galapagos tortoise waking up early in the morning to bask in the sun until the enormous body of the Galapagos tortoise has warmed up. The Galapagos tortoise then spends the rest of its day foraging for food before retiring back to bed in the early hours of the evening where the Galapagos tortoise spends the night in shrub land or submerged in water.

The Galapagos tortoise is a very slow moving animal with the Galapagos tortoise having a top speed of less than 1 mile an hour! During the mating season however, the male Galapagos tortoises have been known to move at a surprising speed with marked individual Galapagos tortoises having been known to travel 13 km in just two days, a phenomenal feet for the sheer size of the Galapagos tortoise.

Like other species of tortoise, the Galapagos tortoise is able to pull its head and legs into its shell to protect itself when the Galapagos tortoise feels under threat from potential predators. The scaly skin on the exposed legs and head of the Galapagos tortoise also acts a layer of armor to protect the Galapagos tortoise from incurring any damage when the Galapagos tortoise is moving around.

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First Published: 12th November 2008, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 12 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 12 Nov 2008]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 12 Nov 2008]

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