Red-footed Tortoise

Scientific Name Chelonoidis carbonaria

Native To Central and South America from Panama to Argentina. Also, Trinidad and Barbados

Habitat dry and wet forests and the savanna

Diet primarily herbivores (leaves, grass, fungi, fruit and flowers) but some animal matter (small bugs)

Size and Age Males can grow to be 34 cm long and weigh 9 kilos. Females reach 29 cm. typically live over 50 years.

Natural History

Red footed tortoises are strangely communal in some of their activities, including sleeping and eating. Not being very fast locomotors, they tend to stay within a set range of the forest. When food becomes available, red-footed tortoises will alert other tortoises to the location of the food, often fruit that has fallen from a fruit tree, by leaving invisible scent trails that can be followed directly to the source. They will also leave these scent trails to places such as burrows or fallen trees, so that they can rest together and take shelter from the heat of the day.


Conservation Status

Vulnerable to the pet trade and habitat destruction such as deforestation. If you are going to get a reptile as a pet, ensure you do your research and know what that animal will need to be taken care of.

Interesting Facts

  1. Males and Females use head movements to identify each other and communicate
  2. Females lay eggs in nests made of ground debris. Eggs hatch after 150 days.
  3. Males will compete for females, which may result in one male flipping another upside-down.