Hi guys! I have been asked if I wouldn’t mind doing a post about a certain animal and so I shall. Today’s post is all about tortoises.
Before I begin, tortoises are not to be confused with turtles. Whilst both are reptiles and members of the order Testudines, tortoises are primarily different in that they live on land and turtles live most of their lives in water.
Tortoises are truly extraordinary animals and the longest living land creatures on Earth with the oldest currently being a Seychelles giant tortoise named Jonathan who was hatched in 1832, making him about 186 years old (give or take a couple of months).
Most species of tortoise are herbivores and have adapted to defend themselves from predators through the growth of strong shells that act as a kind of exo skeleton that they can hide in.
Tortoise predators are anything that can break open their shells. Young tortoises can be lifted into the air by birds and dropped, thus cracking them open and through some dedicated chewing, species of canine like coyotes and foxes can get them out that way. There is, however, one species of tortoise that has no predators and is my personal favourite species of tortoise as well as the longest living species on average, the Galápagos tortoise.
The Galápagos tortoise:
Galápagos tortoises are native to 7 of the Galápagos Islands and are not only the longest living of all tortoises and vertebrates in general, but are also the largest species of tortoise.
The word ‘Galápagos’ actually derives from the Spanish word ‘galápago’, which means tortoise.
Some examples of this remarkable reptile can reach 5 ft in length and can weigh 550 Ibs.
They are truly fantastic animals that I can’t do justice to and I strongly recommend looking at what National Geographic has to say about them. To see these tortoises in action, please look below.
So there you all have it, a brief summary about tortoises and more specifically the Galápagos tortoise. I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I also suggest that you read Josh Hewitt’s travel blog post all about Galápagos tortoises.