Giant Tortoises

(redirected from giant tortoise)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Giant Tortoises

 

the two largest species of reptiles of the family Testudinidae (land tortoises). The species Geochelone elephantopus inhabits the Galápagos Islands. (The species was formerly subdivided into a number of species, which are now considered subspecies.) The carapace is up to 1 m long (sometimes as much as 1.5 m) and more than 0.5 m high. The tortoises weigh up to 100 kg; exceptionally large individuals may weigh as much as 400 kg. The males are larger than the females. The only remaining members of the species G. gigantea are found on the Aldabra Islands in the Indian Ocean.

Up until the 18th century several species of giant tortoises were distributed on the islands of the Pacific and Indian oceans. Beginning in the 17th century the tortoises were subjected to extensive slaughtering by man, who used the meat, the eggs, and the fat (to make a valuable oil). They were later preyed upon by mammals brought to the islands by man.

References in periodicals archive ?
Until now, only one species of giant tortoise had been known to exist on the island of Santa Cruz.
GalEipagos giant tortoises are perhaps the most famous of the archipelago's animals.
Rare Giant Tortoises, bats and rodents are now thriving on this perfectly round islet, just 27 hectares in size, which wallows in the warm waters of Mahebourg Bay.
Ten other species of Galapagos giant tortoise survive Lonesome George.
The Galapagos National Park has been successful over the years in breeding some of the giant tortoise subspecies and releasing them back in the wild.
Below: Abraham, a 60-year-old giant tortoise on Mahe Pictures, SIMON HADLEY; The airport departures and arrival lounge at Denis Island
The Seychelles have several rare-bird colonies and the fabled coco-de-mer palms, and may actually have more giant tortoises than the Galipagos.
Off-the-beaten-path opportunities: Choose a company offering unique away-from-the-crowds options like Natural Habitat Adventures' tented camp amid giant tortoise habitat and voluntourism extensions; and Explorers' Corner's rare-access kayaking tours.
2 A 100-year-old giant tortoise called Diego has been credited with saving his species after fathering more than 800 hatchlings on one of the Galapagos islands.
Jonathan the giant tortoise has been scrubbed up for a visit by an unnamed royal.
QUITO (CyHAN)- Scientists have determined the existence of a second species of giant tortoise on the island of Santa Cruz, in the Galapagos archipelago, some 1,000 km off the coast of Ecuador, officials said on Wednesday.
Everyone who visits the island wants to see Esmeralda, a 657-pound giant tortoise.