These tortoises have reached 170 years old and live in "Reptile Paradise."
Galápagos tortoises are very extraordinary creatures that live in the, wait for it, Galápagos Islands. They are tortoises, and live on land.
The tortoises grow to be huge. This helps them store more water and fat. They have bony shells protecting them. The skin of a Galápagos tortoise is scaly, dry, and thick. The front legs have five claws, while the back legs have four. These creatures are almost fully deaf, and rely on other senses.
There are many subspecies of the Galápagos turtle that exist on different islands around the Galápagos archipelago. One existing subspecies has only one member, Lonesome George, the only one left. There were around 12 to 15 species that existed, but today only ten remain. Humans have threatened the giants, by hunting for their meat and oil, by destroying habitats, and by introducing harmful creatures to the wild. The population of Galápagos tortoises has dropped from 250,000 in the 1500s to a mere 20,000. Thankfully, many organizations have started to help save these amazing animals, and are bringing the population back up.
Galápagos tortoises need to lie under the sun for one to two hours in order to keep warm. They have been known to lie in small pools, probably to discourage parasites, mosquitoes, and other pests. The tortoises walk at about 0.3 kph, or roughly 0.19 mph. They eat berries, leaves, grasses, and cactus. The longest lived Galápagos tortoise, Harriet, lived for an estimated age of over 170 years before dying in 2006.
These creatures are amazing, and humans must help restore them to greater numbers. If they do go extinct, then the world will lose a fascinating species.