Danger of Extinction
Bajo riesgo (Preocupación menor)
The red-footed tortoise can grow between 25 and 40 cm in length, and weigh up to 9 kg. Its carapace varies from brown to black, and it is a lighter colour in the centre of the scutes. The scales on its head, limbs and tail are an orange red colour. The males are bigger and their tails are longer and thicker than those of the females.
They reach sexual maturity when they are 5 years old and they mate throughout the year. The females can produce several clutches a year, laying between 2 and 15 eggs in the excavated nests that are 20 cm deep. The incubation period ranges from 117 to 158 days. When the hatchlings dig their way out of the nest they are completely independent.
Customs, food and habitat:
It is a diurnal species, they are the most active in the morning and the evening and they take shelter at midday to avoid the hot sun. It is considered to be a solitary species.
They are mainly herbivores, but they do eat small amounts of animal protein such as small invertebrates and carrion. They eat grass, leaves, flowers, roots, plant stems and fruit.
This South American species can live in different habitats, which range from savannahs to rain forests, although they prefer woodland areas.
The gender of the tortoise is determined by the temperature while they develop inside the egg.
The male of this species makes a “clucking” sound like a hen, to attract the females and scare off other males. It can make these sounds during courtship and mating. The males also compete among each other by bobbing their heads until one of one of them manages to turn the other one over.