Main page content begins here

Scientific Name: Geochelone sulcata
Habitat: arid plains and grasslands
Diet: spiny plants, grasses, carrion
Life span: unknown, longer than 100 years
Young: 15-30 eggs per clutch
Size: up to 105.5 kg (233 lbs)

These excellent diggers use their long burrows for shelter from the sun during the heat of the day and for aestivation (dormancy) during the dry season. Hatchlings grow quickly to increase their size by 18 times in their first 5 years. As adults, they are the third largest tortoise in the world (after the Galapagos and Aldabra tortoises). Human encroachment on their habitat, hunting, and the pet trade are the main threats to these tortoises.

Fun Fact: African spurred tortoises fight by ramming the shell and attempting to flip the opposing tortoise.


A map of the world with Central Africa highlighted.

Range: Central Africa



Status: Vulnerable

For More Information

Edmonton Valley Zoo

13315 Buena Vista Road (87th Avenue)
PO Box 2359
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2R7


End of page content. Please choose between the following five options:

Back to main menu Back to current page menu and content View current page breadcrumb Back to site search Continue to page footer content