Galapagos giant tortoises can weigh over 300kg!
The largest living species of tortoise on Earth, Galapagos giant tortoises can weigh up to 300 kg in the wild (even more in captivity) and are thought to live for approximately 100 years. There are at least 10 different species of giant tortoise in Galapagos, differing in size, shell shape and geographical distribution. Two distinct shell shapes are seen among species – domed and saddle-backed, which have evolved due to differences in the height of the vegetation they feed on.
The number of wild giant tortoises on the Galapagos Islands has declined greatly. Their population was estimated to be around 250,000 in the 1500s when they were first discovered. However, the tortoises have been saved from extinction by captive breeding programs and it is hoped that conservation programs will continue to help their populations thrive.
Giant Tortoise (Galapagos) features on these pages:
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