Giant tortoises


Tortoises inhabit a variety of warm places from deserts to jungles. In the wild, most tortoises have a very short hibernation, as the climate rarely gets too cold. When kept as pets in a cooler climate, hibernation is extended. Their heavy shells make tortoises rather slow and ponderous, though they can be quite active, especially when two males compete for the favours of a female.

Scientific name: Testudinidae

Rank: Family


Map showing the distribution of the Tortoises taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

Explore this group

When they lived

Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.

BBC News about Tortoises

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