General

The Galapagos Giant Tortoise - Wanted Poster


Characteristics

Surname: Galápagos Giant Tortoise
Other names: /
Latin name: Chelonoidis nigra
class: Reptiles
size: Max. 110 cm
mass: 300 - 400 kg
Older: 50 - 170 years
Appearance: dark green, brown, black
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Herbivore (herbivor)
food: Grasses, herbs, fruits
distribution: Galapagos Islands
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: Grasslands, Tropical Forests
natural enemies: Cats, birds of prey, rats, wild dogs
sexual maturity: with 20 to 30 years
mating season: December to August
oviposition: 4 - 17 eggs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: Yes
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the Galapagos Giant Tortoise

  • The Galápagos Giant Tortoise or Chelonoidis nigra describes a tortoise, which, as its name suggests, occurs exclusively in the Galápagos archipelago.
  • This group of islands, which is located in the Pacific, are home to several subspecies of the Galápagos giant tortoise. However, some of these subspecies are already extinct.
  • Until the 19th century, the Galápagos Giant Tortoise was hunted down by seafarers. Therefore, only an estimated three to five thousand specimens live on the Galápagos Islands today.
  • The Galápagos Giant Tortoise is considered one of the largest representatives of tortoises and reaches a body length of well over a meter. The weight of adult males can be up to four hundred kilograms.
  • Males and females are easy to distinguish because of their appearance. The males are not only much larger and heavier than the females, but also have a very long tail and a conspicuously flat tank.
  • Depending on its range, the Galápagos Giant Tortoise feeds on various grasses and herbs, fruits and berries, cactus and shrubbery. Her long neck allows her to reach even taller plants with her mouth.
  • The Galápagos Giant Tortoise can live for several months without food and water.
  • She sleeps up to sixteen hours a day, has a very slow metabolism and therefore reaches a life of well over a hundred years. Captive animals can even live for more than 170 years.
  • At the age of twenty to thirty, the Galápagos Giant Tortoise becomes sexually mature.
  • After the mating, which takes place in the first half of the year, the females migrate to the coast to lay their eggs. This time lasts from June to late October.
  • The females lay a maximum of seventeen eggs, from which only after several months, the young turtles hatch.
  • These remain in the nesting hole for some time before they begin to dig through the surface immediately after a heavy rainfall.
  • The young turtles are on their own from the moment they hatch.
  • Although the Galápagos Giant Tortoise generally moves very slowly, it is perfectly able to travel longer distances of several kilometers per day during its migrations.
  • Many freshly hatched Galápagos giant tortoises fall prey to wild dogs or birds of prey such as hawks. The eggs are often destroyed by livestock, rats or cats.