Aldabra Tortoise

Aldabra Tortoise     Aldabrachelys gigantea

Type of Animal:

Grasslands, swamps, rocky areas, scrub, mangrove swamps, coastal dunes, scrub forest, grassy plains

Aldabra Atoll in Seychelles, introduced populations on other islands in Seychelles

High domed brown or tan carapace (upper shell), stocky scaly legs, long neck, males bigger than females, males have concave plastron (bottom shell), dark grey to black in color, males have longer thicker tails, younger individuals dark gray carapace

Grasses, leaves, woody plants, stems, sedges, herbs, weeds, cactus pads, flowers, melons, fruit, berries, invertebrates, carrion, poop

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, wildlife parks, & breeding centers. Possible reestablishment of once thought to be extinct Seychelles Giant Tortoises.

Found in herds of 10-20 tortoises. Subadults associate w/ juveniles & adults. Juveniles & babies found in own herds.

Additional Info:


Male-550 lbs
Female-330 lbs

6 months 

Life Span:
100 years in wild, 150 years in captivity

Male-4 ft
Female-2.5 ft

Body Length:
Male-4 ft
Female-2.95 ft
Young- 1 ft

Tail Length:
Male-11.8 in
Female-3.93 in

Only predators of adults are introduced dogs (prey more often on subadults). Introduced cats prey on subadults/juveniles/young. Land crabs, introduced pigs, & introduced rats eat young.

Breeding season from February to May

In high-density populations, females might lay only 4-5 eggs every few years while in low-density populations, they might lay up to 4 clutches a year, each w/ 4-25 eggs.

They grow rather slowly & reach full size/maturity at 20-25 years.

Threatened due to invasive predators, hunting for meat, competition w/ livestock, habitat alteration, & climate change.

They’re very friendly & unafraid of people.

Fun Fact(s):
Oldest member of species today member of the once thought to be extinct Seychelles giant tortoise subspecies (possibly species) named Jonathan, living on Saint Helena in S Atlantic believed to be 187-188 years old. Population of around 100 rediscovered in 1997.

Oldest Aldabra ever male named Adwaita born around 1750, reportedly given to Robert Clive of the East India Company, who kept him at his estate at Barrackpore, in N suburbs of Calcutta. Transferred to Alipore Zoo, Calcutta, by zoo’s founder, Carl Louis Schwendler in 1875/1876, living there until death in March 2006 at age 255.

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