Yellow Footed Tortoise (Chelonoidis Denticulatus)
IUCN: Red List: Vulnerable
Like the Red Footed Tortoise, the Yellow – Footed tortoise is a highly personable & attractive animal that occurs throughout the rainforests of South America. They are distinguished by the yellow scales on their front legs and a carapace which is coloured light golden brown. They are also known as the Brazilian giant tortoise and are the largest among three species of mainland tortoises found in South America.
Yellow-footed tortoises are found in the depths of the tropical rainforests of southern Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Guyana, Brazil & Bolivia where they spend most of their time around shallow water & feast on leaves and the undergrowth. Naturally, these animals prefer tropical lowlands & dense rainforests where they occasionally feast on carrion to necessitate their protein intake.
Generally shy animals, these tortoises enjoy the comfort of dark shaded areas where they are able to hide from predators in their ecosystem. Dwelling in the rainforests where there are no drastic changes in temperatures, these tortoises do not partake in hibernation & are thus active all year round. Yellow – footed tortoises additionally use vocalisations to communicate with each other. With a sound echoing like a baby cooing with a raspy voice, the males of the species are also known to indulge in head bobbing behaviour towards other males during mating & territorial rituals.
- Yellow-footed tortoises are named for the yellow-orange scales on their front legs.
- They mate year round. Males tell other males from females by watching for head movements. If no responsive head movement is seen after two tortoises encounter each other, the male assumes the other individual is a female.
- Yellow-footed tortoises are hunted for food in their native countries. Tortoises are considered “fish” by the Catholic Church and during holy week, red and yellow-foots are consumed in huge quantities.
- In some parts of Venezuela the local people may set fire to entire hillsides so that they are able to harvest exposed (and presumably often roasted) tortoises.
Fruits, Vegetables, Carrion
|Size:||Up to 45cm|
|Weight:||Up to 12kg|
|Lifespan:||Up to 50years|