Gary Oliver’s 20-year-old African spurred thigh tortoise gives this little chihuahua a lift.
What’s a Spurred Thigh Tortoise?
Also known as the African spurred tortoise, is the third largest species of tortoise in the world, after the Galapagos tortoise and the Aldabra giant tortoise.
African spurred thigh tortoises are large, slow, strong and tough. Adults average 18 inches in shell length and 70 to 100 pounds in weight, but specimens reaching two to three feet in length and upwards of 150 pounds aren’t uncommon. Capable of knocking over heavy objects, they may ram each other, and males especially tend to ram females. By being slow movers, they can conserve their energy, and that enables them to carry on for weeks without food. In the wild, they mainly eat grasses and leaves of desert scrub. During the cooler parts of the day, they walk slowly and graze. They get the water that they need from the plants that they eat. What’s fascinating about them is that when it gets cold outside, they actively seek refuge. Many tropical tortoises would not take active steps to maintain a steady body temperature, and would just
African spurred thigh tortoises don’t have many natural predators; they’re more at the mercy of their environment and us.
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