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Aldabra Giant Tortoise

Aldabra Giant Tortoise Facts

Size 35-47 inch (90-120 cm)
Speed Up to 0.3 mph (0.5 km/h)
Weight 330-551 lb (150-250 kg)
Lifespan 80-120 years
Food Plants, leaves, blossoms
Predators -
Habitat Aldabra atoll (Indian Ocean)
Class Reptiles
Order Turtle
Family Tortoises
Scientific name Aldabrachelys gigantea
Characteristics Can get extremely old

Main Characteristics

The Aldabra giant tortoise is one of those animals with the highest life expectancy. It’s name derives from its habitat: the Aldabra atoll, which is part of the Seychelles in die Indian Ocean. An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef which protrudes from the ocean surface.

Aldabra Giant Tortoise Aldabra Giant Tortoise - Photo: underworld/Shutterstock

Life Expectancy

The Oldest Turtle in the World

Adwaita („The Incomparable“ – Sanskrit/Bengali) reached an age of 255-256 years and thus became older than any other tortoise. Yet, this cannot be proven anymore. The animal lived in the Calcutta zoo in India and died in 2006, because its shell got ruptured. The only animals that got even older are a black clam (507 years), a coral (4,265 years) and a giant sponge (10,000 years).



What Do Giant Tortoises Eat?

Aldabra giant tortoises may appear clumsy, but when it comes to food they can act like real acrobats. They stand on their hind legs in order to reach the higher leaves and risk to fall on their backs. This is quite dangerous as they are not able to get on their feet again by their own efforts. But they do everything to get some fresh green leaves.

Tortoises Kiss

Aldabra giant tortoises do not communicate much with each other. But some scientists have observed a kind of nose kiss: One tortoise rubs its nose against the head or neck of another one. This is not part of the mating ritual and scientists cannot provide a satisfactory explanation for it.

Aldabra Giant Tortoise Aldabra Giant Tortoise - Photo: Ivan Hlobej/Shutterstock

Senses and Abilities

Unusual Habit

Aldabra giant tortoises can take a drink through their nostrils.

Aldabra Giant Tortoise Aldabra Giant Tortoise - Photo: MattiaATH/Shutterstock



Aldabra giant tortoises are mature at an age of 15-30 years. They lay 5-25 eggs, each weighing about 1.4-2.6 oz (40-75 g). The young tortoises hatch after 8 months and stay in the nest for one month.

Aldabra Giant Tortoise Aldabra Giant Tortoise - Photo: Katiekk/Shutterstock

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