Area: Southeast Asia
Habitat: Sahara Desert in Northern Africa
Diet: Herbivore - Grasses and pla
Size: Can reach 33 inches in Length and weigh up to 230 pounds!
The Sulcata tortoise is also known as the African Spurred Tortoise. They are the third largest species of tortoise in the world behind the Galapagos tortoise and the Aldabra giant tortoise. They are, however the largest species of mainland tortoise. They are found in the Sahara Desert in Northern Africa. They live in semiarid grasslands, thorn shrublands, and savannahs.
Sulcata tortoises dig burrows in the ground to reach areas with higher moisture levels. These burrows average 30in in depth. Some even dig tunnel systems extending 10ft or more underground. The tortoises will spend the hottest part of their day in the burrow. This is called aestivation.
Sulcata tortoises have a hatchling size of about 3in. They grow very quickly and can reach up to 10in in the first few years of their lives. They double their size every 3 years! They have been known to live 50-150 years but can live much longer. These tortoises reach sexual maturity at the age of 15 years old.
Sulcata tortoises are also known as the spurred tortoise because of the spurs that they have on the backside of their thighs. Their front legs are covered with large scales! These tortoises have very thick skin and a beautiful shell. The upper part of their shell is called the carapace and it has scales called scutes. These scutes will have a certain number of rings on them. These rings will correspond to the age of the tortoise!