Sunday, December 12, 2010

Aldabra giant tortoise

The Aldabra giant tortoise (Geochelone gigantea) is a species of giant tortoise found in the islands of Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles.  It is one of the largest tortoises and is rated as vulnerable by IUCN.

Physical Features                                                  They have long necks                 
The Aldabra giant tortoise is the largest tortoise, sometimes exceeding a weight of 355 kilograms.  Males are bigger than females.  An average male weighs about 280 kilograms and has a carapace length of 47 inches (120 cm).  Females weigh about 150 kilograms and measure 35 inches (88 cm).  These tortoises resemble the Galapagos giant tortoise.  They have a carapace which is brown or tan in color.  Their carapace is shaped like a dome.  Aldabra giant tortoises have very long necks which help the to feed on branches more than a meter high.

Life Span
The Aldabra giant tortoise has the longest life span of any animal.  There was one specimen which died in the Kolkata  in 2006.  It was named Adwaita and was born in 1756.  It lived for about 250 years before it died.

The Aldabra giant tortoise is found in the island of Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles.  The atoll has the largest population of these animals, with an estimated 152,000 individuals.  They are also found in Mauritius, Zanzibar and Rodrigues. they are found in grasslands, scrubs and mangroves.

The Aldabra giant tortoise is mainly a herbivore, eating stems of woody plants, leaves and grasses.  they sometimes eat small invertebrates and will even eat bodies of dead tortoises.  In captivity, they are known to eat fruits such as apples and bananas.

No comments:

Post a Comment