Galapagos tortoises (Geochelone elephantopus)

Galapagos tortoises (Geochelone elephantopus)

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Credit: JOHN BEATTY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Galapagos tortoises mating. View of two Galapagos tortoises (Geochelone elephantopus) mating. These giant tortoises live only on the Galapagos Islands, inhabiting dry, warm lava soils, and moving to the moist highlands to drink and eat plants. The tortoises mate throughout the year, with no specific season. The female then lays around eight eggs in a hole in the ground. Some adults may grow to over 1.5 metres in length, and weigh almost 250 kilograms. There used to be vast numbers of giant tortoises on these islands, but the arrival of humans led to a severe reduction in their numbers. Photographed on Isabela Island, one of the Ecuadorian Galapagos Islands.

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Keywords: animal, galapagos, galapagos islands, galapagos tortoise, geochelone elephantopus, mating, nature, reptile, reptilia, tortoise, type, wildlife, zoology

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