Hi, I am a Aldabra Giant Tortoise. I am the species of large tortoises that can be found in Zoo’s or on the Aldabra Island in the Indian Ocean. I live in scrubs, coastal dunes, grasslands, and mangrove swamps. On this island we once had 18 species of giant tortoises, but now we are the only giant tortoises left. We are becoming extinct due to hunting, climate changes, habitat loss, and lack of food. We can grow 3 to 4 feet in length, and we weigh 300 to 500 pounds. Males are a little larger than our females. You might know that we have round heads, a thick neck, a high dome, thick carapace with short and stubby legs covered with bony scales. Yes, our feet are flat and round. You will see us active in the morning and that is why we are diurnal animals. We rest during the hottest part of the day in the shade or in burrows in the ground. We are herbivores, which consists of grass, dead leaves, and woody plants. We are lucky that we have long necks to help us grab vegetation that is so deep in the ground.
Our mating season takes place from February to May, and our females lay eggs two times a year or once every few years. The will carry eggs in their body the first ten weeks and then bury them in the nests in the ground. They will produce 9 to 25 eggs per season. Our eggs are the size of a tennis ball and rubbery. Our incubation period last for 4 months, and ends at the beginning to the rainy season. Maybe one day you can come and visit us at your local zoo, but please do not scare us… we get scared very easily.
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