Growth continues for life. Due to their heavy grazing, these tortoises have created a ‘tortoise turf’ habitat, which is a combination of grasses and herbs and also serves as natural habitat for a number of smaller species. Giant tortoises will sleep an average of 18 hours in a 24-hour period, although this amount varies greatly among individuals. One of the world's largest land tortoises, Aldabra tortoises can reach sizes of up to 550 pounds and ages of up to 150 years old. Aldabra giant tortoises are mainly active during early morning and in the late evening and they spend the remainder of the day in burrows or swamps keeping cool. They may also eat feces. Posted on December 26, 2020 by NT Bureau. The tortoise, he says, has been with the crocodile bank since 2008. Aldabra Giant Tortoise Wikipedia article -, 2. At the time of the first rain, they migrate towards the coastal scrub areas and open grasslands. Males will fight with one another for breeding rights and territory. These tortoises were called the ‘ninjas’ of the world of tortoises by Jose Antonio de Alzate y Rammirez, a Mexican biologist, due to the dangerous acrobatic acts they perform to get to low-hanging branches. After incubating, the tiny tortoises hatch between October and December. Usually less than half of the eggs are fertile. These tortoises have limited social communication. An Aldabra tortoise weighing 672 pounds (305 kilograms) is the world's largest free-roaming tortoise ever recorded. An Aldabra giant tortoise is a very slow growing reptile, and often does not reach maturity until 20 - 30 years old. When an individual is threatened, it will quickly withdraw its head and walk away. The female's carapace can measure 3 feet (91 centimeters) and can weigh 350 pounds (159 kilograms). It fills a similar role to the one occupied by elephants in Africa and Asia. Support organizations like the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute that research better ways to protect and care for this animal and other endangered species. Giant tortoises of the Indian Ocean islands were an important source of food for sailors who visited these shores during the 17th - 19th centuries. It is believed that tortoises are the longest lived of all animals although is hard to prove because they have outlived the scientists who were studying them, and proper records were not kept. Habitat: total wild population restricted to the Aldabra Atoll (a small group of coral islands in the Indian Ocean). Aldabra Island is a coral atoll bordered by jagged limestone and small beaches and encloses a large mangrove-bordered lagoon. The Aldabra giant tortoise, from the islands of the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, is one of the largest tortoises in the world. They are dark gray to black in color with a highly domed, thick carapace. Chyna weighs between 150 and 175 pounds. At hatching, the babies are about 3 inches long. Not only are they large in size, the Aldabra tortoises have enormous personalities to match. Reptiles are the prominent terrestrial fauna. In courting, the male batters his shell against the female a dozen or more times. Aldabra tortoises are among one of the world's largest land tortoises. Large males will walk with their limbs extended fully vertically and their carapace high up above the ground. This is a guess because they arrived at the Zoo as adults. As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums will temporarily close. They can reach ages of more than 100 years. A rare subspecies of Aldabra tortoise has been discovered in approximately ten zoos around the United States. These tortoises will wallow in mud to protect themselves against mosquitoes. One criterion for selection is a partner’s relative size; males which have a carapace of 50 cm or more in length generally only select mates that are between 45 and 65 cm long. Physical Description: Aldabra tortoises' carapace (or upper shell) has a small neck plate that is usually visible, a feature absent in other species of giant tortoises. Aldabra Giant Tortoise on The IUCN Red List site -, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldabra_giant_tortoise, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/9010/0. Slow and Steady. They naturally live in environments ranging from coastal dune areas and mangrove swamps to scrub forests and grasslands. ZooTampa is home to 3 adult Aldabra tortoises – a male named Al and two females … They are native to Aldabra Island, one of the Seychelles northeast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The males have a concave plastron (belly shell) that aids in mating. Established in 1964, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. The Aldabra Giant Tortoise is a herbivorous animal, spending much of its time browsing for food in its surrounding well-vegetated environment. They are dark gray to black in color with a highly domed, thick carapace. These animals are terrestrial and inhabit a wide range of habitats, including mangrove swamps, scrub forests, and coastal beaches and dunes, each with their characteristic vegetation. This tortoise is the largest animal on the Aldabra Island atoll. The Aldabra giant tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea), from the islands of the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, is one of the largest tortoises in the world. Further populations have been introduced to Réunion, Mauritius and some islands of central Seychelles. 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