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Desert Tortoise

Gopherus agassizii

Description:

The desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii and Gopherus morafkai) are species of tortoise native to the Mojave desert and Sonoran desert of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico and the Sinaloan thornscrub of northwestern Mexico.[3] Gopherus agassizii is distributed in western Arizona, southeastern California, southern Nevada, and southwestern Utah.[3] The species name agassizii is in honor of Swiss-American zoologist Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz. Recently, on the basis of DNA, geographic, and behavioral differences between desert tortoises east and west of the Colorado River, it was decided that two species of desert tortoises exist: the Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and Morafka's desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai).[4] Gopherus morafkai occurs east of the Colorado River in Arizona as well as in the states of Sonora, Sinaloa, Mexico. This species may be a composite of two species. The desert tortoises live approximately 30 to 50 years; they grow slowly and generally have low reproductive rates. They spend most of time in burrows, rock shelters, and pallets to regulate body temperature and reduce water loss. They are most active after seasonal rains and are inactive during most of the year. This inactivity helps reducing water loss during hot periods, whereas winter hibernation facilitates survival during freezing temperatures and low food availability. Desert tortoises can tolerate water, salt, and energy imbalances on a daily basis, which increases their lifespan

Habitat:

Mojave Desert 4300', Old Ranch area.

Notes:

Desert Queen Ranch (Key's Ranch)

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Robb Hannawacker
Spotted by
Robb Hannawacker

California, USA

Spotted on May 29, 2008
Submitted on Jun 10, 2013

Reference

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