The Galápagos Tortoise is the largest species from the Chelonoidis genus. It is endemic to Galápagos Islands.
Galapagos tortoises range in color from a dark blackish shell to a dusty brown head, neck, and legs, with some of the scales being a darker brown. Their faces may frequently be stained green from all the grass they've been munching.
Galápagos tortoises are herbivores that eat prickly pear cactus (a favorite) and fruits, as well as flowers, leaves, and grasses. In fact, these tortoises can go without eating or drinking for up to a year, because they can store food and water so well.
With lifespans in the wild of over 100 years, it is one of the longest-lived vertebrates. A captive individual lived at least 170 years.
- Modern Galápagos tortoises can weigh up to 417 kg.
- 'Galapagos' comes from the Spanish 'galapago', which means 'tortoise'.
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