Desert tortoise

Desert tortoise

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Credit: DAN SUZIO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Desert tortoise. Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) walking in front of a flowering beavertail cactus (Opuntia basilaris). This tortoise is only active at dawn and dusk due to the extreme temperatures in the hot dry regions in which it lives. To escape from the lethal heat, it digs special burrows, which consist of a long tunnel leading to a spacious chamber. The desert tortoise mainly eats succulent plants. This endangered reptile lives in south-western USA and northern Mexico. Photographed in the Kelso Dunes of the eastern Mojave Desert, California, USA.

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Keywords: animal, beavertail, beavertail cactus, cactus, california, desert, desert tortoise, endangered species, gopherus agassizii, mojave desert, nature, reptile, reptilia, tortoise, type, usa, wildlife, zoology

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