Desert tortoises are herbivores, dining on grasses, flowers, fruit, and cactus. Meet The Mojave Desert Tortoise The Mojave desert tortoise is a slow-moving reptile found in deserts and other dry regions in the southwestern United States. Desert tortoises store water in the bladder. Desert Tortoises are approximately 10 to 14 inches long (25 to 36 centimeters). Interesting Desert tortoise Facts: Desert tortoise can reach 4 to 6 inches in height, 9 to 15 inches in length and 8 to 15 pounds of weight. Back legs are skinnier and very long. This offers them protection from predators and solace from the heat. Females reach sexual maturity at the age of 15 to 20 years. These animals are very inactive. Facts Summary: The Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is a species of concern belonging in the species group "reptiles" and found in the following area(s): Arizona, California, Mexico, Nevada, Utah. Grasses form the bulk of its diet, but it also eats herbs, annual wildflowers, and new growth of cacti, as well as their fruit and flowers. A tortoise is a turtle, but a turtle isn't a tortoise. The desert tortoise is a medium-sized species of tortoise that is found in the south-western desert regions of Northern America, and parts of northern Mexico. The tortoise is a unique creature with fascinating features. Their bodies conserve this water efficiently. These foods contain a lot of moisture, and desert tortoises can go for up to one year without access to fresh water! The head is scaly; the limbs are elephantine with blunt nails and no webbing. They can stick their limbs and head into the shell for long periods of time. Desert tortoises have a dome-shaped shell, which is typically tan or dark brown in color. She will usually lay the eggs in June or July and they will usually hatch in August or September. Unfortunately, turtle will die out of dehydration if it doesn't find new source of water to refill body reserves as soon as possible. The shells of Desert tortoises are high-domed, and greenish-tan to dark brown in color. Their approximate height … Basic Desert Tortoise Facts. A Tortoise is a Turtle, but a turtle isn’t a tortoise You should not hold desert tortoise because they empty their bladder (their storage of water; holds over 40% of body weight) when handled/molested as a defense mechanism. During the hot summer months, desert tortoises spend at least 95 percent of their time underground, emerging only during early morning and at night. Burrows can be shared with up to 23 other tortoises and lots of other desert creatures (insects, birds, reptiles and mammals). This creature can survive in a climate where temperatures can exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). Home range of desert tortoises covers the area of 10 to 100 acres. This species is the second smallest tortoise (the smallest being South Africa’s speckled padloper). The desert tortoise population has declined 90 percent during the past three decades. Defenders works in western deserts and Florida to protect imperiled species of tortoise. When he is done eating the keepers have to take a toothbrush and warm water to clean all of the food stuck to his beak. The population has decreased by as much as 90 percent in some areas since the 1980s due to vandalism, predation, disease, and collection for pets (now illegal). These creatures are built for digging. Facts: History and Science Facts for Kids, Reptiles and Mammals Reading Comprehension. An adult desert tortoise can survive a year or more without water. They dig burrows that have a half-moon shape. The Desert Tortoise is an American tortoise that lives in the deserts. Turn dinner time into puzzle time. Gopherus morafkai - found east of the Colorado River in Arizona and Mexico (Mexico states Sonora and Sinaloa). These tortoises have very long neck. These threats include: Encroachment of humans into their natural habitats. Underground burrows are complex, 3 to 6 feet deep and up to 30 feet long. It can be found in California (Mojave Desert), Mexico (Sonoran desert), Nevada, Utah and Arizona. Fun Facts about Desert Tortoise. Tortoises do not have teeth; instead, they have a beak and grind their food. The body of the this Tortoise is dark green, olive, and black as is the shell. Some activities for tortoises include: Fun food shapes give your tortoise something neat to look at, interact with, and get rewarded by eating. In one breeding season, it lays 3 clutches. Desert tortoise can survive in areas where temperature of the ground reaches 60 degrees of Celsius. A female Desert Tortoise will lay 4 to 8 ping-pong ball sized eggs at one time. This helps them maintain water when the temperature is hot and survive the extremely cold winters. Several tortoises will usually share a single burrow. One of our tortoises is a very messy eater. Spring and fall are mating seasons of these tortoises. Males occupy larger territories than females. The soil should be soft enough to dig but firm enough not to collapse. The desert tortoise is most commonly known for its high, patterned shell and the fact that is lives in burrows underground. Desert tortoise is a type of tortoise adapted to the life in extreme, desert conditions. Both carapace and plastron (undershell) are marked with growth rings. 21-22 Tortoise Facts 21. Only 2% of hatchlings reach adulthood. Desert tortoises mature at the age of 15 to 20 years. Desert tortoise inhabits areas covered with creosote bushes, rocky canyons, semi-arid grasslands and hillsides. This allows them to be able to blend in very well to their surroundings. These magnificent creatures come in all shapes and size and it adapts the different environments easily. Fun Facts for Kids. The eggs are hatched after 90 to 135 days. Their front limbs have flat claw-like scales which are perfect for digging. The tortoises often share their burrows with other desert animals, including rattlesnakes. Which is important because they dig burrows in order to survive. Desert tortoise have also been described in scientific literature as Scaptochelys agassizii and Xerobates agassizii. Desert Tortoises dig burrows where they go to escape the heat of the summer, the cold of winter, and to protect themselves from predators. Young desert tortoises are usually light tan colored. They lay 4 to 6 eggs from May to July. Enough to dig but firm enough not to collapse that you hardly know: Some interesting facts tortoises. In August or September inches ( 10 to 15 centimeters ) ( the smallest being South ’. 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