Galápagos tortoises also eat flowers, leaves, and grasses.
big, not bulky
Although Galápagos tortoises are huge animals that weigh several hundred pounds, their shells are not solid. Instead, they are made up of honeycomb structures that hold small air chambers. This makes the shell lighter and easier for the tortoise to carry.
Each of the 13 larger islands in the Galápagos Islands has a different subspecies of the giant tortoise, uniquely suited for survival on that particular island’s habitat. For example, saddleback shells allow the tortoise to reach food found higher off the ground, like leaves on tall bushes. On desert islands, the tortoises are smaller and are able to survive on less food.
As people made homes on the Galápagos Islands, they brought animals such as rats, dogs, and cats, which eat tortoise eggs and young tortoises. This caused the number of tortoises on the islands to drop. Today, there are only about 10,000 to 15,000 tortoises living on the islands.
Long live the tortoise!
Galápagos tortoises can live a long time. Some of those at the San Diego Zoo are more than 100 years old!
Save it for later
A Galápagos tortoise can go without eating or drinking for up to a year because it can store food and water in its body.
What's the rush?
Galápagos tortoises are in no hurry! They amble along at an astonishing 0.16 miles per hour. Humans walk at an average speed of 2.8 miles per hour.