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Home > Tortoises > Gopher Tortoise

Gopher Tortoise

Gopher tortoise belongs to the Gopherus genus, found in the southeastern United States. This herbivorous tortoise is regarded as a keystone species as the burrows dug by it provide shelter to hundreds of other animals in its habitat range.

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

    Size 20 to 30 cm
    Weight Around 4 kg
    Color Overall color is dark brown to gray-black with yellow underside
    Distribution Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida
    Habitat Dry sandy uplands, scrub, pine flatwoods, coastal dunes
    Diet Wide variety of plants including grasses, legumes, fruits like gopher apple, blackberries, pawpaw, saw palmetto berries; flowers
    Hibernation Fact Hibernates during winter
    Predators Eggs are preyed upon by armadillos, raccoons, skunks, foxes, alligators
    Breeding Season April – November
    Mode of Reproduction Oviparous (egg laying)
    Clutch Size 1 to 25 eggs
    Incubation Period Around 100 days
    Reproductive Age 10 to 15 years of age
    Average Lifespan More than 40 years
    IUCN Conservation Status Vulnerable

    Gopher Tortoise Pictures Gallery

    Published on October 29th 2016 by under Tortoises. Article was last reviewed on 7th June 2019.

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