Iguana Cove Tortoise/Isabela Island Giant Tortoise/Cerro Azul Giant Tortoise

Iguana Cove Tortoise/Isabela Island Giant Tortoise/Cerro Azul Giant Tortoise Chelonoidis vicina

Type of Animal:

Volcanic areas, sparsely vegetated areas, mud wallows, waterholes, lowland areas, moist cool highlands, areas near ponds, areas near lakes, mud lakes, deciduous forest, evergreen forest, dry grasslands-juveniles/subadults often stay in lower areas

Isabela Island in Galapagos

Thick heavy shell intermediate between saddleback & domed, males larger/more saddle-backed, females more domed, gray sometimes w/ dusty gray-brown, intermediate shell shape overall

Grasses, leaves, cacti/cactus pads, lichens, fruit, berries, melons, milkweed, bromeliads, water ferns, tomatoes, vines, flowers, herbs, algae, crustaceans, tree bark, carrots, bamboo stalks, forbs, stinging nettles

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos & breeding centers. Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center on Isabela Island breeds this species.

Herds range from 4-30 tortoises. Males are dominant.

Additional Info:

Young: Hatchling
Group: Herd

Male: 400-550 lbs
Female: 250-330 lbs
6 months 

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

Male: 4-5 ft
Female: 2.95-3 ft

Body Length:
Male: 3.84 ft
Female: 3.05 ft

Tail Length:
Male: 11.8 in
Female: 3.9 in

Adults have no predators. Introduced dogs, cats, pigs, & rats as well as native Galapagos Hawks eat juveniles/hatchlings. Fire ants prey on newborns.
Endangered due to introduced predators eating hatchlings/eggs, competition w/ livestock for food, overgrazing, trampling of nests by livestock, habitat loss, agriculture, slow growth rate, late maturity (don’t reach maturity until 20 years old), & hunting for meat/oil/eggs.
Well-known for being gentle giants.
Like many reptiles, sex determined by egg temp, cooler sand temps mean more males & warmer sand temps mean more females.
Courtship is rough, w/ male ramming female w/ front of shell & nipping her exposed legs until she draws them in, immobilizing her.

Fun Fact(s):
They’re quite lazy, sleeping/resting for up to 16 hours a day.
Very slow-moving w/ average speed as low as 0.18 mph.
They can go for a year without eating/drinking.
Females dig holes in sand & pee all over it so sand doesn’t collapse on eggs.
Many accounts mention these animals & other Galapagos Tortoises were most edible creature ever encountered-16th century explorers thought it was better than chicken, beef, mutton, & butter. Oil from fat was useful against all kinds of maladies.

6 thoughts on “Iguana Cove Tortoise/Isabela Island Giant Tortoise/Cerro Azul Giant Tortoise

  1. Andre

    It’s appropriate time to make a few plans for the future and it
    is time to be happy. I’ve read this put up and
    if I may just I want to recommend you few interesting things
    or suggestions. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this
    article. I wish to read more things about it!

  2. Ouida

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article!
    It’s the little changes that produce the biggest changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  3. Ila

    Your style is really unique in comparison to other people I’ve read stuff from.

    Many thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this page.

  4. Margie

    Having read this I believed it was rather informative.

    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this informative
    article together. I once again find myself spending way too
    much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *