Range: Northern part of Aldabra Island; Seychelles
Habitat: Very thick low scrub on an inhospitable coral atoll.
Wild Diet: Occasionally live animals, mostly a grazer of a wide variety of plant material.
Zoo Diet: Dog food, crushed fruits and vegetables, vitamin/mineral supplements.
Tortoises have huge appetites that they try to satisfy by 9 AM. To kill a small animal, they allow it to crawl under them and then quickly retract their legs, flattening their prey. They will spend up to 16 hours a day lying in fresh water ponds or mud wallows. They do not swim well but may float. They are able to fast for two to three weeks at a time. They can live more than 100 years.
Breeding takes place between January and April. Eggs are carried about 10 weeks, but some eggs may be retained for a second nesting later in the year. Because of the apparently dense population on Aldabra, the species is not reproducing in numbers comparable to their population. In the wild, some built-in mechanism seems to be lessening their reproductive instincts because of overcrowding. In captivity there is more reproductive activity when the sexes are put together after having been kept apart than when they are constantly together.
Gestation: Incubation: Eggs hatch after approximately 120 days.
Litter: 9 to 25 white, spherical, tennis ball sized eggs
Conservation Status: Vulnerable