Aldabra giant tortoise Facts

Aldabra giant tortoise Facts
Aldabra giant tortoise is a species of large tortoise that can be found on the Aldabra island in Indian Ocean. It inhabits scrubs, mangrove swamps, coastal dunes and grasslands. There were 18 species of giant tortoises that once lived on the islands in Indian Ocean. Unfortunately, all species except Aldabra giant tortoise become extinct due to uncontrolled hunting and collecting of eggs in the past. Despite sharp decline in the number of Aldabra giant tortoise in the 19th century, it managed to survive till today. Aldabra giant tortoise is currently listed as vulnerable. Major threats for its survival are introduction of predators, lack of food (due to competition with introduced grazers), climate changes and habitat loss (as a result of expanding human settlements).
Interesting Aldabra giant tortoise Facts:
Aldabra giant tortoise can reach 3 to 4 feet in length and 350 to 500 pounds of weight. Males are slightly larger than females.
Aldabra giant tortoise is currently one of the largest species of tortoise on the planet. It evolved to such a huge size due to lack of predators and isolation that lasted for thousands of years.
Aldabra giant tortoise is dark grey or black colored.
Aldabra giant tortoise has round head, very long neck, high-domed, thick carapace and short, stubby legs covered with bony scales. Its feet are round and flat.
Aldabra giant tortoise is mostly active early in the morning (diurnal animal).
Aldabra giant tortoise rests during the hottest part of a day in the shade, inside the burrows in the ground or in the shallow pools of water.
Aldabra giant tortoise is a herbivore. Its diet is based on grass (both fresh and dry), woody plants and dead leaves. Thanks to its long neck, Aldabra giant tortoise can grab vegetation that is 3 feet off the ground.
Aldabra giant tortoise plays important role in the ecosystem. It alters the habitat when it searches food and creates new pathways and clearings that are beneficial for other animals. It also plays important role in dispersal of seed.
Aldabra giant tortoise can be found solitary or in the groups in the wild.
Mating season of Aldabra giant tortoise takes place from February to May.
Females can lay eggs two times per year or once every few years, depending on the density of population.
Females carry eggs in the body during the first 10 weeks and then bury them in the nests in the ground.
Females produce 9 to 25 eggs per season. They are rubbery and size of a tennis ball. Incubation period lasts 4 months and ends at the beginning of the rainy season.
Young Aldabra giant tortoises reach adult size and sexual maturity at the age of 25 years.
Aldabra giant tortoise can survive up to 255 years (80 to 120 years is an average lifespan).

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