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.

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When they lived

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

BBC News about Tortoises