Where to see them
Scaly Slimy Spectacular
Aldabras are the world’s second-largest tortoise species.
Aldabra tortoises are not as slow and ungainly as they appear; they can move quickly and are agile enough to stand on their hind legs.
Aldabra tortoises are known to live over 100 years, with undocumented reports of animals living as much as a century longer.
Aldabra Giant Tortoise
Males average 400 pounds; females, 300 pounds
Aldabra Atoll off the coast of Africa; introduced populations exist on other islands in the Seychelles.
Grasslands and scrub forests
Aldabra tortoises are the largest animals in their natural environment. By manipulating their habitat through grazing, they play a role in the ecosystem by clearing paths for smaller animals.
Aldabra tortoises are primarily herbivorous, feeding on grasses, plants and leaves.
Wild Aldabras typically reproduce from February to May. Females lay an average of four to 15 eggs. The number of eggs a female deposits is often relative to the number of other tortoises living nearby (the greater the number of other tortoises, the fewer the eggs). Young Aldabras are miniscule versions of their parents, weighing less than 3 ounces at birth.
Some of My Neighbors (IN THE WILD)
Aldabras share their habitat with numerous bird species, including the Aldabra rail, as well as a diversity of coastal wildlife.
Population Status & Threats
The Aldabra tortoise is only surviving species of a number of giant tortoise varieties that once existed on Madagascar and in the Seychelles. At the turn of the 20th century, over-hunting had rendered the species nearly extinct. Conservation efforts and international trade regulations have helped to stabilize Aldabra populations, which are now protected but remain threatened.