Size: males average a 122 cm (4 ft.) carapace (shell) length, females average a 91 cm (3 ft.) carapace length
Weight: males up to 250 kg (550 lb.) or more, females smaller averaging 159 kg (350 lb.)
Description: largest land tortoise, dark gray to black in color with a highly domed thick carapace (shell). Also has a very long neck to aid in food gathering.
Life span: believed to surpass 100 years
Sexual maturity: determined by size rather than by age; most begin to reproduce when they reach approximately half their eventual size.
Reproduction: females lay between 9-25 eggs of which less than half are fertile. In a healthy, uncrowded population a second clutch laid within the same breeding season is likely.
Habitat: total wild population restricted to the Aldabra Atoll (a small group of coral islands in the Indian Ocean). There are many different habitats on the islands where tortoises are found such as: scrub, mangrove swamp, and coastal dune. The largest concentrations of tortoises are found on the grasslands called platins.
Diet: mainly vegetation and small invertebrates. The tortoise is opportunistic in its vegetarian lifestyle. To obtain enough nourishment for survival a tortoise will occasionally feed upon carrion (even carrion of their own species) to supplement its diet.
Indoor accommodation these tortoises should consists 30L or 55 gallon tank. Cypress mulch is the indoor substrate of choice for this species due to it's humidity retention characteristics which in turn leads to good scute and skin health.
The water area of the habitat should be large enough to allow the tortoise to soak in it if it wishes - it must also be shallow enough to protect from drowning.
A spot lamp should be positioned on one side for basking. The habitat should also be equipped with a full spectrum fluorescent light to provide for UVB. There should be a hide box located in the corner away from the basking spot to allow the animal a cool dim retreat.
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