The only surviving giant tortoises are on the Seychelles and Galбpagos Islands.
The well-known giant tortoises of the Galapagos islands (Geochelone nigra), known as the Galбpagos tortoise or Galбpagos giant tortoise, is the largest living tortoise, endemic to nine islands of the Galбpagos archipelago.
The long life of tortoises have led to them being portrayed as symbols of longevity.
Many, though not all, species of tortoises are sexually dimorphic, though the differences between males and females vary from species to species.
Tortoise and terrapin are the names for two sub-groups commonly recognized within Testudines.
Tortoise is the common name for any turtle of the family Testudinidae, characterized by thick, club-like hind legs, and a high, rounded, domed shell (carapace).
Tortoises are not carnivores, and should not be fed large amounts of protein, as it may cause shell deformation and other medical problems.
The easiest way to determine the sex of a tortoise is to look at the tail.
Tortoises tend to be diurnal animals with tendencies to be crepuscular depending on the ambient temperatures.
Aldosterone stimulates an increase in the reabsorption of sodium ions and excretion of potassium ions from the kidney tubules which, consequently, causes an increase in the volume of water that is reabsorbed from the tubule.
Giant tortoises of the genera Geochelone, Meiolania, and others were relatively widely distributed around the world into prehistoric times, and are known to have existed in North and South America, Australia, and Africa.
A tortoise that has access to plenty of forage (or is regularly fed by its owner) will grow faster than a desert tortoise that goes days without eating.
Tortoise is used in this article as the common name for members of the family Testudinidae.
Tortoises generally have lifespans comparable with those of human beings, and some individuals are known to have lived longer than 150 years.
Most land-based tortoises are herbivore, grazing on grasses, leaves, flowers, cacti, and certain fruits.
Tortoises are popular attractions for ecotourists in some areas, most notably the Galapagos Islands.
The tortoise has both an endoskeleton and an exoskeleton.
Feeding tortoises cat or dog food is a common mistake, as both cat and dog food contain too much protein and lack other important nutrients for tortoises.
Vishnu took the form of a half-man half-tortoise, the lower half being a tortoise.
Female tortoises dig burrows in which they lay from two to twelve eggs.
Turned on their back where they could not move, the Galбpagos tortoise could survive for months without food or water, making them a good source of fresh meat on a whaling ship (before refrigeration).
Tortoises can vary in size from a few centimeters to two meters in length.