|Tortoises at the Lincoln Park Zoo|
Red Footed Tortoises are quite colorful... for a tortoise. They have red, yellow and orange colorations on their legs and heads, and their shells range from brown to black with lighter patches. An interesting feature of their anatomy is that as they age, their top shells (known as carapaces) become slightly concave on the sides, giving them a "waist."
Tortoise courtships coincides with rainy weather. Their mating ritual involves a male tortoise approaching another tortoise, standing side by side with them, and then bobbing his head back and forth in a series of jerking motions. If the other tortoise is male, he will respond with similar motions, and perhaps some shoving around. If the other tortoise is female, however, she will do nothing, and mating might commence. Red Footed Tortoises are also very picky about head coloration, and may not breed with other individuals who do not match their desired colors.