Aldabra Giant Tortoise (Aldabrachelys Gigantea)
IUCN: Red List: Vulnerable
This species is originally from the Aldabra Atoll, located in the Indian Ocean, with a population of over 150,000 wild tortoises. It has also been introduced on the Seychelles, & on other islands including Reunion, Mauritius & Zanzibar. It is mainly vegetarian & feeds on grasses & leaves of low-lying plants.
Vegetation is scarce in this dry & inhospitable land on the Aldabra Atoll Seychelles archipelago, & the tortoises mainly live in mangrove forests, where they find both shade & shelter, & areas close to the large central lagoon, covered by large extensions of grass.
The Aldabra Tortoise is an early riser & is most active during the daytime. It starts its morning by looking for food in the open expanses of grasslands or searches for dead/decaying matter in swampy marshes. This species engages in a number of activities like mating, eating, sleeping, stretching, walking. While lumbering around, with their heads lowered, they closely crop the grass & other vegetation with their powerful jaws, leaving a tell-tale path where they have grazed upon. They can be found both individually or in herds where plenty of food is present.
- The Aldabra tortoise is the largest animal on the atoll. The tortoises fill a niche very similar to the one occupied by elephants in Africa and Asia
- The Aldabra tortoise is the only remaining species out of 18 former species of tortoise that once flourished on the islands of the Indian Ocean. The others went extinct because of hunting by sailors and the predation of eggs and hatchlings by introduced species such as rats, cats, and pigs.
- Though it feeds primarily on vegetation, the Aldabra tortoise is flexible and opportunistic in its diet. In order to obtain enough nourishment for survival, the tortoise may supplement its diet with small invertebrates and even carrion (including dead tortoises).
- Incubation is temperature dependant: in warm temperatures, eggs hatch in about 110 days; in cool temperatures, eggs take 250 days to hatch.
- Clutch Size: Typically, the females lay between 4 to 14 eggs, of which less than one half are fertile. Within zoological settings, the average clutch size may be seen to increase, approaching 9 to 25 eggs.
Fruits & Vegetables
|Size:||Up to 140cm|
|Weight:||Up to 250kg|
|Lifespan:||More then 100years|