Skip to main content

African Spurred Tortoise

Geochelone sulcata
After the Galapagos and Aldabra Tortoises, the African Spurred Tortoise takes the title as third largest in the world. These land giants dwell in drier regions of central and northern Africa where they subsist on a diet of fruits and vegetables. During the driest times of the year, the Tortoises build burrows and enter states similar to hibernation in order to keep from dehydration.

Breeding occurs during rainier parts of the year, and males will fight for the right to breed with females. During the copulation itself, females will be unable to move due to the weight of the male Tortoises. About two months after mating the female will dig a large nest and deposit 15-30 eggs into. They will incubate for an additional 8 months before the 2" hatchlings emerge. It will take the Tortoises fifteen years to reach sexual maturity. But, like their large Tortoise cousins, they can live over 100 years.

African Spurred Tortoises have experienced some drastic population drops. They've been losing their habitats due to urbanization and the spread of livestock, and have also been hunted for meat. African Spurred Tortoises are also collected for the pet trade when they are in their younger years. This makes re-population difficult, as they take so long to mature.

IUCN Status : Vulnerable
Location : Africa
Size : Length up to 36in (90cm), Weight up to 200lbs (91kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Sauropsida -- Order : Testudines
Family : Testudinidae -- Genus : Geochelone -- Species : G. sulcata


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

Halloween Crab

Gecarcinus quadratus The Halloween Crab goes by many names, including the Red Land Crab, Whitespot Crab, and Moon Crab. I personally like Halloween Crab though, since it really reflects the interesting colors. They have black carapaces, orange-red legs, and purple claws! Halloween Crabs live in the Pacific coast mangroves and forests of Central and South America. They actually live in the forests as adults, and return to the ocean in order to reproduce. Did you know that they live as far away as 18 miles (30km)  from water? Not where you normally think Crabs to be! While living in the forest, the Crabs forage nocturnally for different plant matter, including leaves and sapling. They also dig long burrows into the ground for protection. These burrows can measure nearly 5 ft long! Halloween Crabs are sometimes kept in captivity, and can be very tricky pets due to their excellent climbing skills. IUCN Status :  Not Listed Location :   Cent