Aldabra tortoises, Geochelone gigantea (meaning “huge land turtle“) are the world’s second largest living tortoise species. Found only in the Indian Ocean, on the coral- limestone Aldabra Atoll. A colony was reintroduced to the Seychelles islands in the late 1970’s as a tourist attraction. The original Seychelles Giant Tortoises had been eaten out of existence by the end of the nineteenth century. Aldabra Tortoises thrive in grasslands in Cameroon, mangrove swamps and coastal dunes; and enjoy mud wallows and ponds to beat the heat. Shade is also important for Aldabra Tortoises.
Aldabra’s are primarily vegetarian, but will eat meat/carrion when available. Their main diet consists of grasses, dark leafy greens (e.g. dandelions, mustards, collards, turnips, kales), occasionally pears, carrots, peaches, apples, beans, peas, almonds and tomato’s – red foods are a favorite.
Truly a dinosaur of the tortoise world, in warmer months plan to give them land. Aldabra Tortoises are shy at first, but soon become accustomed to their keepers. Juveniles grow quickly at first, and need good sized pens both indoors and out. A wonderful addition for keepers able to devote space to keep a very rare and interesting animal. Aldabra Tortoises develop very distinctive personalities and become more like family members as they get older. Several recorded specimens have lived over 200 years…
Our Aldabra Tortoises are well started yearlings. 3 – 5 inches in length. These are miniature versions of the future giants.
* Remember, each Tortoise order comes with a free starter sample of the same Tortoise diet your Tortoise has been raised on – to order larger quantities, see the lower left side of this page. *
Aldabra Tortoise for sale
You can find Aldabra tortoise for sale at select reptile stores, tortoise breeders, reptile shows and sometimes on the Internet. If you are able to find one, no doubt you will find them very rewarding to keep.
Giant Aldabra Tortoise Size
The average weight of an adult male Aldabra tortoise is approximately 550 pounds, although there is one at the Fort Worth Zoo that weighs in at nearly 800 pounds.
Baby Aldabra Tortoise Diet and Aldabra tortoise food list
Aldabra tortoises are mostly herbivores. In the wild, they eat grass, leaves, plants, stems and other tasty weeds. They will also feed on insects and dead animals, even their own kind. In captivity they will eat grass, flowers, cactus pads, all sorts of leafy greens and commercial tortoise food. They also like fruit and melons.
Aldabra Tortoise Life Span
Aldabra tortoises are long lived, some having reached more than 200 years of age. The oldest known Aldabra in captivity at the time of this writing is 170 years old.
Juvenile Aldabra Tortoise Housing
Keeping Aldabra tortoises outdoors is usually the best way to house them. Hatchlings up to 2 years old can be housed indoors, but once they get beyond that, they need the great outdoors to roam. For babies up to a year old, tortoise tubs or the equivalent work very well. Use bark or crushed coconut for the bottom of the enclosure. Provide a hotspot of about 90 degrees Fahrenheit at one end of the enclosure with an ambient temperature of about 80 degrees. Mercury vapor lights work well for this, as they provide both UVB and heat all in one fixture.
Aldabra tortoises get large, so as a rule of thumb, the bigger the outdoor enclosure, the better. I house mine in a pen made of ornate cinder blocks. The wall is a bit over two feet tall, and the paddock area is 100 feet by 30 feet. Depending on how many you plan to house, the size of your paddock can vary. Aldabra tortoises do best at temperatures of 80 to 95 degrees. Provide your tortoise house with heat lamps, heat emitters and/or large outdoor-use heat pads (“pig blankets”) to maintain the proper temperature even when the weather outside is cold. The entrance to the house should be large enough for the tortoise to easily enter and exit, and a door is handy to lock the tortoise inside on very cold days or nights. Aldabra tortoises love mudholes, and if you can build one, or a shallow pond for them to soak in, they will be very content. Unlike most tortoises, they are also good swimmers.
Aldabra Tortoise Behavior and Life History
Aldabra tortoises spend the mornings and early evenings eating, and they spend the hotter parts of the day in the shade or lounging in shallow water holes. They are deceptively quick when they want to be and will actually sprint away if frightened. If they think you have a treat for them they will sprint right to you.