Name: Giant Tortoise (Réunion Giant Tortoise, Saddle-backed Mauritius Giant Tortoise, Domed Rodrigues Giant Tortoise, Domed Mauritius Giant Tortoise, Saddle-backed Rodrigues Giant Tortoise, Seychelles giant tortoise, Arnold's Giant Tortoise, Aldabra Giant Tortoise)
Scientific Name: Cylindraspis indica, Cylindraspis inepta, Cylindraspis peltastes, Cylindraspis triserrata, Cylindraspis vosmaeri, Dipsochelys hololissa, Dipsochelys arnoldi, Geochelone gigantea/Dipspchelys dussumieri
African Names: Fano (Malagasy), Sokatra (Malagasy)
Height: 4 feet long (1.3 m)
Average Adult Weight: Up to 660 pounds (300 kg)
Life Span: up to 100 years.
Description: The head and legs of these tortoises are too big to be completely pulled into their shells.
Habitat: Tropical grasslands and coastal areas.
Countries found in: Madagascar, Seychelles, Reunion, Mauritius and islands off East Africa. The world's largest population of giant tortoise is on the Aldabra Atoll in Seychelles with about 100,000 tortoises.
Babies: A female tortoise digs a hole on the beach and lays between 5 and 19 eggs. About two months later the baby tortoises hatch. The soft shelled eggs are vulnerable to robber crabs, frigate birds, rats, and cats.
Food: Grasses, herbs, and dead turtles and tortoises. Tortoises eat in the cool of the morning and late evening.
Habits: Tortoises can be found crammed together and stacked up on top of each other beneath the shade of a tree during to day to avoid the hot sun.
Aldabra Giant Tortoise - Vulnerable
Seychelles Giant Tortoise - Extinct in the Wild
Arnold's Giant Tortoise - Extinct in the Wild
Domed Mauritius Giant Tortoise - Extinct
Saddle-backed Mauritius Giant Tortoise - Extinct
Réunion Giant Tortoise - Extinct
The Nature Protection Trust of the Seychelles has set up a breeding program for the Seychelles Giant Tortoise to ensure their survival. There are currently less than 40 alive in captivity.
Predators: Mostly free of predators in the wild.