Galapagos Tortoises: Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior and more

Discover everything about the Galapagos tortoises, an amazing animal, with impressive characteristics, do not stop reading until the end and you will be surprised.


From the point of view of science, these animals are called Geochelone nigra, the most amazing detail is the enormous size they can acquire, they are considered to be the longest in the world, with approximately two meters long.

Galapagos tortoises can weigh up to 400 kilograms and the most impressive thing is that they have a longevity of 170 years according to recorded data.

They live on land, however they go to the water on certain occasions since they have the skills to do so, only that most of their time is on land.

It belongs to the family called Testudinae, to the testudines order and to the reptilia class, many will be wondering what do galapagos eat and it is that their diet is purely vegetarian, since they eat herbs, leaves, berries and cacti.

Throughout their history they have been persecuted by human beings, seeking their extermination, the implacable search is due to the fact that they have the ability to spend months without eating or drinking water, thus generating a food source that could be preserved for a long time by take boat trips.

Where they live?

In ancient times these could be found in various places around the planet, but currently they can only be obtained in certain places in the Galapagos, to which they owe their name, this is located in the oceanic islands.

The most common is that they get it in areas of warm lava and low fertility that are obtained in the coastal areas of the Pacific.

Those turtles that can be found in the upper part of these islands are countable, this is because in that area you find more humidity, but not only this but there is grass from which it can feed, also getting wells or ponds in the which they can come in to cool off.

There are some of them that prefer places of lower height, in which they get more vegetation, this will depend on the subspecies from which they come.

In this case there is a greater number of them in the Alcedo Volcano which is located on Isabela Island, but there are also several of them on Santa Cruz Island.


Various characteristics and turtle information Galapagos, but this will be discussed in detail below:

  • They can measure more than a meter.
  • Its highest recorded weight is 250 kilograms, but it is established that there are some larger than these, it varies according to the subspecies.
  • Their longevity is at least 170 years, however there are many specialists who believe that they can live much longer.
  • They can go a long time without eating or getting water.
  • Each subspecies can have different shells, i.e. size, color, thickness and more.
  • They grow gradually until they are thirty years old, there are even some that do it until they are forty years old.
  • They are quite calm, their day can be spent basking in the sun and at night they sleep mostly near bushes.
  • He has no teeth, however his jaw is quite strong.
  • On the back legs it has four claws while on the front ones it has five, these facilitate their mobilization.
  • Their skin is scaly, both on the neck and on the legs.

Turtle Behavior Galapagos

The way in which they behave can vary from species to species, some of them are extremely sedentary, while others prefer to be moving from one place to another, to walk, search for food or even to find a new territory in which to live. .

Its character is calm but like its behavior it can vary according to each species.

But there is an element that is the same for all species and that is that when the sun is at its highest point and it is too hot, they seek refuge during those hours of the day, the heat is not to their liking and they take refuge under the shade. from trees, under leaves, bushes or other elements that keep them cool, they can even enter mud.

Galapagos turtle

There are times when these animals stretch out and stay that way so that Birds They eliminate their bugs, a quite unusual and common behavior in Galapagos tortoises.

Another quite interesting feature is their great curiosity, once they go to a new place or approach an unknown object, they sniff them and if they find it harmful or dangerous they bite it.

Its different types

The way to classify Galapagos tortoises is diverse, the most common is that it is due to their habitat:

  • Those that live on the island of Santa Cruz or other volcanoes in the area, these are characterized by having their shell in the shape of a dome, in this place there is great humidity and enough vegetation.
  • Those that live in places with less vegetation, such as Spanish islands, these have a shell like a saddle.
  • Finally we have the ones that I know can be located in Santa Fe and it is a mixed breed, combined between the two previous ones.

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