Mating season takes place from late summer to early autumn. Both carapace and plastron (undershell) are marked with growth rings. Desert Tortoise Facts The largest native land tortoise in North America, the desert tortoise is listed as threatened on the U.S. G. agassizii is widely distributed toward the southern part of U.S. including Utah, California and Nevada. Desert tortoise has scaled head and high domed shell. The males of both species are slightly longer than the females. Here we will discuss the interesting and amazing facts about rep that you hardly know: Some Interesting facts about Tortoises. Defenders works in western deserts and Florida to protect imperiled species of tortoise. Males occupy larger territories than females. Desert Tortoises are approximately 10 to 14 inches long (25 to 36 centimeters). Desert tortoises store water in the bladder. Desert tortoise can reach 4 to 6 inches in height, 9 to 15 inches in length and 8 to 15 pounds of weight. On average, these tortoises have a lifespan of 80 to 120 years. There are several threats to the survival of these two species which have brought about a drastic reduction in their population since the 1980's. Predators of this animal include ravens, foxes, gila monsters, badgers, roadrunners, and coyotes. Desert Tortoise Species. An adult desert tortoise can survive a year or more without water. They can go for long periods of time without food or water. Desert tortoise inhabits areas covered with creosote bushes, rocky canyons, semi-arid grasslands and hillsides. In one breeding season, it lays 3 clutches. Desert tortoise eats in the spring and autumn, when food is available. Back legs are skinnier and very long. Until the mid-1900s, they were commonly encountered by people in and around their habitats. The males of both species are slightly longer than the females. What do Desert Tortoise eat? Like all species, the Desert Tortoise has a shell on its back. Rocks and soil are also ingested, perhaps as a means of maintaining intestinal digestive bacteria as … Their bodies conserve this water efficiently. The six-sided carapace shields are dull brown or yellowish; the plastron is yellowish and unpatterned. Their life span is thirty to fifty years. These tortoises have very long neck. The desert tortoise is a medium-sized species of tortoise that is found in the south-western desert regions of Northern America, and parts of northern Mexico. This allows them to be able to blend in very well to their surroundings. Young desert tortoises are usually light tan colored. A desert tortoise is a large tortoise that mostly lives in deserts and digs burrows in the ground. In the case of danger, turtles will release urine. Grasses form the bulk of its diet, but it also eats herbs, annual wildflowers, and new growth of cacti, as well as their fruit and flowers. Burrows can be shared with up to 23 other tortoises and lots of other desert creatures (insects, birds, reptiles and mammals). Desert tortoise have also been described in scientific literature as Scaptochelys agassizii and Xerobates agassizii. The body of the this Tortoise is dark green, olive, and black as is the shell. The desert tortoise shares such extreme conditions of their habitat that no other tortoise in America does. They can store water in their bladder, and are able to tolerate high levels of urea in their blood to keep from losing moisture through excess urinating. Desert tortoises can survive one year without water. Desert tortoises are inactive most of the year. The desert tortoise is an admirable reptile, living in extreme conditions that other species of his kind can't handle. Some activities for tortoises include: Fun food shapes give your tortoise something neat to look at, interact with, and get rewarded by eating. Desert tortoise can survive from 50 to 80 years in the wild. These animals spend more than 95% of their life under the ground. Desert tortoise are able to burrow to escape heat. Turn dinner time into puzzle time. Endangered Species Act and is protected throughout its range. They will leave burrows only to drink water that collects on the ground after heavy rains. Basic Desert Tortoise Facts. They absorb water from the vegetation they eat and dig shallow pools in the ground to collect rainwater. Desert tortoise can survive in areas where temperature of the ground reaches 60 degrees of Celsius. During the summer, ground temperatures in parts of their range can hit 140˚F. This offers them protection from predators and solace from the heat. Interesting Desert tortoise Facts: Desert tortoise can reach 4 to 6 inches in height, 9 to 15 inches in length and 8 to 15 pounds of weight. This helps them maintain water when the temperature is hot and survive the extremely cold winters. Desert tortoise can survive in areas where temperature of the ground reaches 60 degrees of Celsius. Facts Summary: The Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is a species of concern belonging in the species group "reptiles" and found in the following area(s): Arizona, California, Mexico, Nevada, Utah. In fact they hibernate during winters. Underground burrows are complex, 3 to 6 feet deep and up to 30 feet long. These magnificent creatures come in all shapes and size and it adapts the different environments easily. The eggs are hatched after 90 to 135 days. Adult animals are dark brown colored. Desert tortoises can tolerate water, salt, and energy imbalances on a daily basis, which increases their lifespans. Gopherus morafkai - found east of the Colorado River in Arizona and Mexico (Mexico states Sonora and Sinaloa). A tortoise is a turtle, but a turtle isn't a tortoise. Gopherus agassizii - found in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. Fun Facts about Desert Tortoise. The feet of these tortoises are flat with short legs. They have heavily scaled front claws used for burrowing, and relatively long rear legs. Agassiz’s desert tortoises have a high domed shell, which is usually brown in adults and dark tan in younger adults. Which is important because they dig burrows in order to survive. Females can give birth for up to 15 years after initial mating with the male. Desert tortoise has strong, heavily scaled front legs equipped with sharp claws that are used for digging of underground burrows. A female tortoise lays a clutch size of 4 to 8 eggs. Other interesting Mojave desert tortoise facts: The bladder of the Mojave Desert tortoise can store up to 40% of its weight in water. The head is scaly; the limbs are elephantine with blunt nails and no webbing. Main predators of desert tortoise are Gila monsters, foxes, coyotes, badgers, ravens, roadrunners and mountain lions. One method these tortoises have found for surviving the harsh desert climate is to dig catchment basins in the dirt to capture what little rainfall there is in the desert. Adult animals are dark brown colored. Desert tortoises from the western part of Mojave Desert are listed as vulnerable (they may become endangered in the near future). These burrows can be more than five feet deep and they can spend over ninety percent of their time in them. Desert tortoises mature at the age of 15 to 20 years. Home range of desert tortoises covers the area of 10 to 100 acres. They can stick their limbs and head into the shell for long periods of time. They have shells which range in color from greenish-tan to brown and have a high dome. This species is the second smallest tortoise (the smallest being South Africa’s speckled padloper). Being so small, the Egyptian tortoise is able to warm up very quickly in the sun. This creature can survive in a climate where temperatures can exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). These foods contain a lot of moisture, and desert tortoises can go for up to one year without access to fresh water! Desert tortoise is herbivore (plant-eater). Unfortunately, turtle will die out of dehydration if it doesn't find new source of water to refill body reserves as soon as possible. These reptiles are very gentle creatures and have a very low rate of reproduction. Facts: History and Science Facts for Kids, Reptiles and Mammals Reading Comprehension. Giant tortoises can grow as long as 130 centimeters and weigh up to 919 pounds. During the hot summer months, desert tortoises spend at least 95 percent of their time underground, emerging only during early morning and at night. Fun Facts: The shell is high domed with prominent growth lines on shields of both the upper and lower shell sections. Only 2% of hatchlings reach adulthood. Its diet consists of available vegetation, usually of shrubs, grass, cacti and their flowers. Fun Facts for Kids. The desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, has a carapace (upper shell) length of 6-14 in (15-36 cm). Gopherus morafkai - found east of the Colorado River in Arizona and Mexico (Mexico states Sonora and Sinaloa). Their approximate height … Its pale yellow color slows down how much heat can be absorbed. It is the official state reptile of … Desert Tortoises are approximately 10 to 14 inches long (25 to 36 centimeters). Incubation period lasts 10 to 12 months. Celebrate the ultimate slow and steady land reptile with these fun facts about tortoises. 21-22 Tortoise Facts 21. Young desert tortoises are usually light tan colored. Another interesting Desert Tortoise Fact is that they prefer to live where the soil is ideal for digging burrows. The Desert Tortoise is an American tortoise that lives in the deserts. Desert tortoises have a dome-shaped shell, which is typically tan or dark brown in color. These animals are very inactive. Male desert tortoises have longer tails than female desert tortoises, and males have a concave shaped underbelly. Desert tortoises live in the deserts of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. It usually lives on the altitude of 1000 to 3000 feet, but it can survive even on the elevation of 5000 feet. They usually hunt young desert turtles. Males are larger than females. The top is brown or horn-colored; the bottom is yellowed. The desert tortoise is an herbivore. They have a body that is flat and that is shaped like a pear. It can be found in California (Mojave Desert), Mexico (Sonoran desert), Nevada, Utah and Arizona. The soil should be soft enough to dig but firm enough not to collapse. The shells of Desert tortoises are high-domed, and greenish-tan to dark brown in color. They dig burrows that have a half-moon shape. The desert tortoise is most commonly known for its high, patterned shell and the fact that is lives in burrows underground. Desert tortoise has scaled head and high domed shell. The Desert Tortoise is the official reptile of California and Nevada. They weigh 8 to 15 pounds (4 to 7 kilograms). She will usually lay the eggs in June or July and they will usually hatch in August or September. Desert Tortoises dig burrows where they go to escape the heat of the summer, the cold of winter, and to protect themselves from predators. Meet The Mojave Desert Tortoise The Mojave desert tortoise is a slow-moving reptile found in deserts and other dry regions in the southwestern United States. Several tortoises will usually share a single burrow. The Desert Tortoise is a herbivore. These threats include: Encroachment of humans into their natural habitats. Their approximate height is 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters). Desert tortoise consume desert herbs, grasses, flowers, cacti, and fruit. It's diet consist mostly of grass but it also eats, herbs, wildflowers, shrubs, and cacti. When he is done eating the keepers have to take a toothbrush and warm water to clean all of the food stuck to his beak. When it rains they go to these basins to obtain the precious water. Tortoise Facts. The desert tortoise population has declined 90 percent during the past three decades. 1. Desert tortoises are herbivores, dining on grasses, flowers, fruit, and cactus. Tortoises do not have teeth; instead, they have a beak and grind their food. Gopherus agassizii - found in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. The tortoise is a unique creature with fascinating features. A Tortoise is a Turtle, but a turtle isn’t a tortoise The population has decreased by as much as 90 percent in some areas since the 1980s due to vandalism, predation, disease, and collection for pets (now illegal). Females reach sexual maturity at the age of 15 to 20 years. The quality of the soil influences the density of desert tortoise populations. Build a “snowman” out of fruit, keeping his favorite treat at the top so he has to work to get it. Desert tortoises spend period from November to February under the ground. Number of desert tortoise dropped over 90% in the past three decades due to habitat destruction, introduction of new species, diseases and illegal pet trade. Their front limbs have flat claw-like scales which are perfect for digging. You should not hold desert tortoise because they empty their bladder (their storage of water; holds over 40% of body weight) when handled/molested as a defense mechanism. Spring and fall are mating seasons of these tortoises. The front limbs have sharp, claw-like scales and are flattened for digging. They lay 4 to 6 eggs from May to July. These creatures are built for digging. Desert tortoise is a type of tortoise adapted to the life in extreme, desert conditions. One of our tortoises is a very messy eater. The tortoises often share their burrows with other desert animals, including rattlesnakes. In the spring they obtain water mostly from the moist grass and other vegetation they eat. Eggs are shaped like ping-pong balls. He's also unique because he can dig underground to seek refuge from high heat and freezing temperatures. A female Desert Tortoise will lay 4 to 8 ping-pong ball sized eggs at one time.