Aldabra giant tortoise

Aldabra giant tortoise

Latin name: Geochelone gigantea

The World's Largest Tortoise!

  • With a record weight of 410 kg, this giant seems to be straight out of prehistory! It has in fact evolved very little since dinosaurs roamed the earth.
  • Its large tubular legs are adapted to walking and supporting its enormous weight. It is nevertheless capable of rising on its hind legs to reach lower branches.
  • Among the 18 species of tortoises found in the Indian Ocean, the Aldabra giant tortoise is the only one that has avoided extinction. As the Aldabra Islands were not on commercial routes of merchant ships, it wasn't included on the sailors' menu of that time.
  • It can live more then a 100 years; the record belongs to an individual that died at the age of 152 years old.
  • There are over 150,000 Aldabra giant tortoises in the wild. As they are sensitive to disturbances, tourism on the Island is monitored. Their eggs remain vulnerable to rats, dogs and wild boars.
  • Distribution

    Islands of the Aldabra Atoll (W. Indian)

  • Habitat

    Mangroves, prairies

  • Diet

    Herbivore

  • Status

    Vulnerable

  • Zoo Zone

    Africa