Galápagos Giant Tortoise

Series of elevation and plan illustrations of a Galápagos Giant Tortoise in various positions

The Galapagos Giant Tortoise, also referred to as the Galapagos tortoise, inhabits only two remote archipelagos: the Galapagos Islands 1000 km west of mainland Ecuador, and Aldabra in the Indian Ocean, 700 km east of Tanzania. They are the largest living species of tortoise, with tortoises on islands with humid highlands being larger with domed shells and short necks. Tortoises on islands with dry lowlands tend to be smaller. Distinguishing characteristics include a large bony shell of a dull brown or gray color that can hold its head, neck, and fore limbs when drawn back for protection. The Galapagos tortoise is an herbivore that consumes a diet of cacti, grasses, leaves, lichens, berries, oranges, and milkweed.

The typical Galápagos Giant Tortoise has an overall height of 27.0”-36.0” (69-91 cm) and body length of 48.0”-60.0” (122-152 cm). An average Galápagos Giant Tortoise weighs between 330-550 lb (150-250 kg) and has a typical lifespan of 100-150 (wild), 175 (captivity).


*Under Development*

27.0”-36.0” | 69-91 cm
48.0”-60.0” | 122-152 cm
330-550 lb | 150-250 kg
Scientific Name:
Chelonoidis nigra
100-150 (wild), 175 (captivity)


Drawings include:
Galápagos Giant Tortoise side elevation, side (person), side (walking), front, plan

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Turtles and tortoises are members of the Testudines reptile family characterized by their hard shells that are used for protection. Turtles and tortoises are separable by the fact that tortoises are land-dwelling creatures while most turtle species are at least partly aquatic creatures.

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27.0”-36.0” | 69-91 cm
48.0”-60.0” | 122-152 cm
330-550 lb | 150-250 kg
100-150 (wild), 175 (captivity)
Galápagos Giant Tortoise
Galápagos Giant Tortoise