A Galápagos giant tortoise walking

Galápagos giant tortoise

Galápagos giant tortoises were studied by Charles Darwin when he made his famous visit to the Galápagos in 1835. He discovered that the shape of the shells varied from island to island and population to population, as each subspecies of Galápagos giant tortoise adapted to a particular environment and habitat.

Scientific name: Geochelone nigra

Rank: Species

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Map showing the distribution of the Galápagos giant tortoise taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Galápagos giant tortoise can be found in a number of locations including: Galápagos. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Galápagos giant tortoise distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Desert Desert
Desert and dry scrubland describes any area that receives less than 250mm of rainfall a year. Not just the endless, baking sand dunes of popular conception, it includes arid areas in temperate regions.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status


  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 1996

Classified by: IUCN 2.3


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Reptiles
  5. Turtles, terrapins and tortoises
  6. Tortoises
  7. Geochelone
  8. Galápagos giant tortoise

BBC News about Galápagos giant tortoise

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