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Gopher tortoise

Gopherus polyphemus


Gopher tortoises grow to be up to 15 inches long and weigh from eight to 15 pounds. With their strong elephant-like back legs and front feet specialized for digging, they are well-adapted to burrowing. The burrows provide gopher tortoises with protection from predators and from the elements by maintaining a fairly constant environment inside. They are most active in the warmer months but spend most of their lives in their burrows. Each tortoise will dig and use many burrows throughout the active season. The burrows can vary from three to 52 feet long and nine to 23 feet deep.


This tortoise was making its way along the side of a road in New Smyrna Beach.

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Spotted by

Florida, USA

Spotted on May 22, 2014
Submitted on Jul 7, 2014

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