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Aldabra Tortoise

Dipsochelys dussumieri


Found in our local Reid Park Zoo, I can't help but think they look bored and unhappy to no end (or maybe that's just how they usually look?). I think these gigantic turtles are called desert tortoise, but I'm not exactly sure. The informational sign said that they can live close to 100 years! These are in their 50s.


A small enclosure in our local zoo.

2 Species ID Suggestions

Galápagos tortoise
Chelonoidis nigra Galápagos tortoise
Aaron_G 8 years ago
Aldabra tortoise
Dipsochelys dussumieri Aldabra giant tortoise

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Ivan Rodriguez
Ivan Rodriguez 8 years ago

Thank you Josh and Goody! That's very informative. :)
I will update it immediately.

Aaron_G 8 years ago

Thanks to Josh for confirming this at the exact same time. ;-)

Aaron_G 8 years ago

These are actually Aldabra giant tortoises. One physical characteristic that quickly separates them from the Galapagos tortoise is the small marginal scale that sits right behind the head. It's called the nuchal scute. Aldabras have it and Galapagos do not. Here's a link that shows a photo:

And as for their behavior, they are just resting. When you weigh hundreds of pounds, it's good to rest once in a while. :-) I've worked with this species for almost 15 years and know their behavior well.

JoshMrozowski 8 years ago

It's an Aldabra tortoise. You can tell by the presence of the nuchal scute.

Ivan Rodriguez
Ivan Rodriguez 8 years ago

Thank you Gerardo. :)

Ivan Rodriguez
Ivan Rodriguez 8 years ago

Yes! The word "Galapagos" kept on ringing in my head, but I wasn't exactly sure. Thanks for verifying that, Karen. :)

KarenSaxton 8 years ago

Desert tortoises aren't usually as large or high domed. Galapagos tortoises, maybe?

Ivan Rodriguez
Spotted by
Ivan Rodriguez

Tucson, Arizona, USA

Spotted on Aug 8, 2011
Submitted on Jan 8, 2012

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