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Home > Tortoises > Desert Tortoise

Desert Tortoise

The Mojave desert tortoise, often simply known as the desert tortoise, is a species found in the Mojave Desert regions in the United States. The species spend a lot of time in burrows, pallets and rock shelters to adjust body temperature and control dehydration.

    Kingdom Animalia
    Phylum Chordata
    Class Sauropsida
    Order Testudines
    Suborder Cryptodira
    Superfamily Testudinoidea
    Family Testudinidae
    Genus Gopherus
    Scientific Name Gopherus agassizii

    Other Names Mohave desert tortoise, California desert tortoise
    10 to 14 in
    Weight 0.02 to 5 kg
    Color Greenish-tan to dark brown shell
    Distribution Western Arizona, southeastern California,  southwestern Utah, southern Nevada, Mexico
    Habitat Sandy flats, rocky foothills; found from sea level to an elevation of 3500 ft
    Diet Plant matter especially grasses, herbs, annual wildflowers, new growth of shrubs, cacti and their fruits and flowers
    Hibernation Fact Hibernate during winter months
    Predators Ravens, Gila monsters, badgers, roadrunners, kit foxes, coyotes, fire ants
    Breeding Season Spring, Autumn
    Mode of Reproduction Oviparous (egg laying)
    Clutch Size 4 to 8 eggs
    Incubation Period 90 – 135 days
    Reproductive Age 15 to 20 years of age
    Average Lifespan 50 to 80 years
    IUCN Conservation Status Vulnerable

    Desert Tortoise Pictures Gallery

    Published on October 30th 2016 by under Tortoises. Article was last reviewed on 7th June 2019.

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