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Aldabra Tortoise

Aldabrachelys gigantea


  • Aldabra atoll off the coast of Africa


  • Grasslands and Swamps


  • Grass
  • Leaves
  • Plants
  • Stems

Aldabra tortoises are specially adapted for island life:

  • Big and Long-Lived: Aldabra Tortoises are second only to Galapagos Tortoises in size and can live to be more than  100 years old.
  • Giant Manipulators: They use their long necks to reach low leaves on high branches and have even been known to rise up on their hind legs for extra height. Their strong, stocky legs and clawed feet are used like shovels for digging.
  • Giant Helpers: They are the largest animals on the islands, so their search for food changes the habitat for other animals and plants. In a role similar to elephants in Africa and Asia, aldabras knock over trees and shrubs, make clearings within the forest, and pass seeds through their digestive track which eventually becomes food for others.

To learn more about aldabra tortoises, visit them at the Aldabra Tortoise Exhibit.

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