Living up to its name, the Galapagos Giant Tortoise is the biggest tortoise in the world. They're also one of the laziest, sleeping for nearly 16 hours a day!
Picture Credit: Cindy Andrie (Wiki Commons)
Amazing Facts About the Galapagos Giant Tortoise
- Giant Tortoises used to inhabit every continent except Antarctica.
- Giant Galapagos Tortoises are not all the same, with almost every island of the Galapagos having its own subspecies.
- The temperature that the eggs are incubated in determines whether they will gestate into males or females. A higher temperature means that more males will be born.
- They can sleep for nearly 16 hours a day.
- Their slow metabolism and ability to take on large volumes of water helps them survive for up to a year without eating or drinking.
- Spanish sailors who discovered the archipelago named it after the abundant tortoises – Galápago means tortoise in Spanish.
- Type: Reptile
- Diet: Herbivore
- Lifespan: Oldest documented 152 years
- Size: 5' (1.5m) in length
- Weight: 550lbs (250kg)
- Scientific Name: Chelondis Nigra
- Habitat: Galapagos Islands