Aldabra atoll, northeast of Madagascar in Indian Ocean as well as the Seychelles archipelago. Some were brought to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where Napoleon was exiled. For conservation purposes, the species was introduced to the island of Mauritius where they are now thriving.
There are many different habitats on the islands where tortoises can be found, including scrub, mangrove swamp, and coastal dune. The largest concentrations of tortoises are found on the grasslands.
- Males: Adult males up to 550 pounds
- Females: Mature females average 350 pounds
- Up to four feet long
150 years or more
- Clutches are 9 – 25 eggs
- Incubation is about four months
- Females may nest twice in one seasons
Wild: Feeds primarily on vegetation but is flexible and opportunistic in its diet. In order to obtain enough nourishment for survival, the tortoise may supplement its diet with small invertebrates and even carrion.
Zoo: Fruits, vegetables and turtle chow
- Found both individually and in herds
- Generally most active in the mornings when they spend the most time browsing for food, before the temperature gets too high
- May dig underground burrows or rest in swamps to keep cool during the heat of the day
POINTS OF INTEREST:
- Gray or black color with a high, domed shape carapace
- It has short, thick scaled legs to support its heavy body.
- The neck is long for its size, which helps them gather food
- Their home, the Aldabra atoll, is now a World Heritage Site
- The largest animal on the atoll.
- Have been known to knock over small trees and shrubs to obtain nutritious leaves.
- Makes pathways and clearings within the forestlands for other animals
- Seeds pass through the tortoise’s digestive tract and eventually become food for many other species.
Vulnerable due to habitat loss, climate change and rising sea levels.