Aldabra giant tortoises or geochelone gigantea belong to the testudinidae family. They live only in the Aldabra atoll, in Seychelles. However, humans moved some of them to Zanzibar, in Tanzania.
They are the biggest tortoises in the world after the Galapagos giant tortoises. They can be more than three feet long. Males can reach a weight of 550 pounds, while females hardly weigh 330 pounds. As other tortoises, these animals get to live 100 years.
They have a black or dark-grey dome-shaped shell. Their limbs are very strong, which is necessary for them to support their tremendous weight. Their neck is disproportionately long even when we are talking about a very big animal. They use it to reach the low branches of the trees located three feet up from the floor.
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These herbivorous tortoises usually eat weed, leaves and woody stems, but they also complete their diet with some invertebrates or carrion. When they are in captivity they eat fruits as apples or bananas, but they can be feed also with tablets containing basically fruits and other vegetables. Even if freshwater is abundant in their territories, they get most of the water they consume from what they eat. They are not afraid of humans and even eat from human hands.
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Sexual maturity is determined by their size and not by their age. These tortoises are sexually mature when they reach the half or their final future size. Mating takes place between February and May. Females lay about 10-25 eggs from which 60% are not fertilised. Incubation takes 8 months and hatching takes place between October and November..
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