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Giant Aldabra tortoises debut at Bronx Zoo

Date:
August 14, 2014
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
Two giant Aldabra tortoises (Geochelone gigantean) are now grazing outside Zoo Center at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo. Both tortoises are males; one weighs approximately 400 pounds and the other tips the scales at around 600 pounds. Their exhibit is located at the iconic Zoo Center and resembles their natural habitat with a sandy substrate, lush vegetation, and a freshwater pool.

Bronx Zoo Aldabra Tortoises.
Credit: Julie Larsen Maher/WCS

Two giant Aldabra tortoises (Geochelone gigantean) are now grazing outside Zoo Center at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo.

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Both tortoises are males; one weighs approximately 400 pounds and the other tips the scales at around 600 pounds.

Their exhibit is located at the iconic Zoo Center and resembles their natural habitat with a sandy substrate, lush vegetation, and a freshwater pool.

Besides their impressive size, Aldabra tortoises are thought to live 200 years or more. They have a large domed shell (or carapace), thick limbs that are covered in bony scales, and a long muscular neck. They are terrestrial but can swim. They will enter shallow fresh water and occasionally the ocean to aid temperature regulation.

Aldabra tortoises are one of only two remaining species of giant tortoises; the other being the Galapagos tortoise. Aldabras are native the Aldabra atoll in the Republic of Seychelles and have been introduced to several other islands in the western Indian Ocean.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies giant Aldabra tortoises as Vulnerable, with populations in decline. Estimates indicate there are approximately 100,000 animals remaining in the wild.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "Giant Aldabra tortoises debut at Bronx Zoo." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814191524.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2014, August 14). Giant Aldabra tortoises debut at Bronx Zoo. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814191524.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "Giant Aldabra tortoises debut at Bronx Zoo." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814191524.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

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