They live in the desert.
They are 9 - 15 inches long and can weigh 8 - 15 pounds. They have flat front legs made for digging and a brown shell (carapace). They can pull their head and legs in toward the shell for protection (retraction).
Males will fight when they meet. They spend most of their lives in burrows underground when it is too hot (or cold) to be outside. They can live for 80-100 years.
They eat plants: grasses and wildflowers.
Their only predator is man collecting them, but loss of habitat from animals grazing also has an effect on them.
Females lay 4 – 8 white, hard-shelled eggs in the spring to early summer in a nest they dig near their burrow under a bush. Larger females lay more eggs than smaller females and have several egg-layings (clutches) in a season. Babies hatch in 3 – 4 months.
Species: G. agassizii
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Amsel, Sheri. "Tortoise (Desert)" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2023. October 1, 2023
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