The largest land turtle and the longest living animal

The Galapagos tortoise is the largest species of land tortoise in existence today. Its common name is due to the fact that it lives in the Galapagos Islands, a group of islands of volcanic origin that is located in the Pacific Ocean.

The size of these turtles is really surprising, they can reach almost 2 meters in length and weigh around 300 kg. During the cool hours of the day they spend their time in the lower part of the islands, where the terrain is arid and covered with grass. While in the hot hours they move to the high volcanic areas, in search of the humidity of the puddles of water.

Unfortunately, the giant tortoise of the Galapagos Islands has suffered due to man, to the point that it is currently considered at risk of extinction. For this reason the Ecuadorian government (the archipelago belongs to Ecuador) has protected them since 1970.

Fun facts

  • Galapagos tortoises are the longest living animals, reaching an average of 150 years of life.
  • They have a very slow metabolism, which gives them the incredible ability to live for many months without food or water.
  • They are mainly herbivorous, their diet consists of ingesting herbs, cacti, berries and leaves. However, they can also eat carrion and organic debris.
  • They have very slow movements, but can reflect aggressive behavior towards each other during courtship and in fights between males.
  • They are oviparous animals, they lay 4 to 14 eggs and place them in holes they make in the sand.
  • During mating, the males emit growls that can be heard from a distance.