Aldabra Giant Tortoise Facts
|Size||35-47 inch (90-120 cm)|
|Speed||Up to 0.3 mph (0.5 km/h)|
|Weight||330-551 lb (150-250 kg)|
|Food||Plants, leaves, blossoms|
|Habitat||Aldabra atoll (Indian Ocean)|
|Scientific name||Aldabrachelys gigantea|
|Characteristics||Can get extremely old|
The Aldabra giant tortoise is one of those animals with the highest life expectancy. It’s name derives from its habitat: the Aldabra atoll, which is part of the Seychelles in die Indian Ocean. An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef which protrudes from the ocean surface.
Tortoise Adwaita Became 256 Years Old
Adwaita („The Incomparable“ – Sanskrit/Bengali) reached an age of 255-256 years and thus became older than any other tortoise. Yet, this cannot be proven anymore. The animal lived in the Calcutta zoo in India and died in 2006, because its shell got ruptured. The only animals that got even older are a black clam (507 years), a coral (4,265 years) and a giant sponge (10,000 years).
Aldabra giant tortoises may appear clumsy, but when it comes to food they can act like real acrobats. They stand on their hind legs in order to reach the higher leaves and risk to fall on their backs. This is quite dangerous as they are not able to get on their feet again by their own efforts. But they do everything to get some fresh green leaves.
Aldabra giant tortoises can take a drink through their nostrils.
Tortoises and the Nose Kiss
Aldabra giant tortoises do not communicate much with each other. But some scientists have observed a kind of nose kiss: One tortoise rubs its nose against the head or neck of another one. This is not part of the mating ritual and scientists cannot provide a satisfactory explanation for it.
Reproduction of Aldabra Giant Tortoises
Aldabra giant tortoises are mature at an age of 15-30 years. They lay 5-25 eggs, each weighing about 1.4-2.6 oz (40-75 g). The young tortoises hatch after 8 months and stay in the nest for one month.