Galápagos Tortoise Description at Darwin Station in Puerto Ayora, Galápagos, EC - Encircle Photos

44 Galápagos Tortoise Description at Darwin Station in Puerto Ayora, Galápagos, EC

The Galápagos tortoise richly deserves the common adjective of “giant.” An average adult of this endemic species – the largest in the world – weighs 400 pounds. Yet size varies by island. The biggest are native to Santa Cruz Island. Males here can measure up to five feet and be nearly 500 pounds. The largest was 6.1 feet and 880 pounds. Their scale-covered legs have to be enormous to carry that much weight. There are five claws on the front legs and four on the back pair. Their carapace (shell) is either saddleback, domed or a variation of the two. Most impressive is their life expectancy. In the wild, they typically live over 100 years. Harriet was the oldest in captivity when she died at 170 years old in Australia Zoo. With that much time, who needs to hurry?

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Charles Darwin Research Station, Ave Charles Darwin, Puerto Ayora, Ecuador

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