Desert Tortoise

Desert Tortoises are land dwellers of the turtle family, which are reptilian in nature.

The Desert Tortoises have brown shells 8-15 inches long with flattened front feet that are well suited for burrowing beneath the earth.

The Desert tortoise will live in sandy and wooded areas in the south east and southwestern United States, primarily Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise

A tortoise is a high shelled turtle, with legs which look like the old roman columns.

It is more land oriented than a turtle and will go to water only to drink Tortoises are not well adapted for swimming and have bodies that are not streamlined, do not have webbed feet and are not able to swim at all usually.

The Desert Tortoise is a dark brown shelled herbivore that will grow up to about 16 inches in length.

This tortoise can burrow and live in the ground where temperatures will go above 140 degrees due to its ability to dig a burrow and get away from the heat.

At least ¾ of its life is spent underground in a burrow, during summer to escape the heat, and when it is dormant in wintertime.

Tortoises are able to live for nearly a year without water.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise

A single tortoise may have multiple burrows which he will alternate spending time in opposition varies throughout the tortoise’s range.

Tortoises are herbivores and live mainly on shrubs, herbs, grasses and some flowers are part of his diet.

Tortoises will mate any time they are above ground, however there seems to be more mating in the early fall. Females will store the eggs inside and lay them about May or June.

The number of eggs a female lays is in proportion to her size in many cases. She may lay from four to eight hard white eggs and of those only two or three will grow to adulthood. She will have about 3 matings per year.

Find out more about the Desert Tortoise over at Wikipedia »

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