African Spurred Tortoise

Adult spurred tortoises are generally solitary with limited interaction with other tortoises until breeding season. Males defend a territory and will fight others in competition for a female. In some instances, one (or both) tortoises may become overturned in which case it is quite difficult to flip back over.

Spurred tortoises spend a significant amount of time digging a burrow in which they reside for an entire season. Burrows range in length and may be 5-60 feet long. The moisture inside the burrow helps them survive the harsh, dry conditions outside of the burrow. Although grasses consumed by the tortoises have very little water content, their digestive system is specially adapted to remove all water from the grasses.

African Spurred Tortoise

Geochelone sulcata

Habitat: Sahara Desert

Diet in the wild: Grasses, leaves, shrubs

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Greens, carrot, squash, hay, fresh grass

Size: Adults can weigh up to 150 lbs

Family: Females lay 10-30 eggs

Status: Vulnerable

Did you know? Baby spurred tortoises hatch out of eggs the size of ping-pong balls.

All Rights Reserved