To continue my visit to the reserve, I was glad of the extra warmth of my jacket but even so although it was pleasant to walk in the sun, it had grown quite chilly in the shade, so when Eva and I met each other in the Nature Reserve, I was ready for a hot drink and we both sampled a very large piece of chocolate cake which was home made and delicious. It was considerably warmer in the tea room and once I had warmed up and felt rested, we decided to stay a while longer and made our way down hill to a part of the reserve I hadn't yet seen where there were large Sulcata Tortoise.Their impressive shells made me instantly attracted to them and I watched them slowly moving around pushing over a few branches in their way.They walk slowly to conserve energy, and are very strong.
It is also known as the African Spurred Tortoise
They originate from the deserts of Africa where they dig deep holes and long underground tunnels in the sand to retreat to during the hottest part of the day.
This is why their front limbs are strong and made for digging, as you can see. The Sulcata Tortoise is three feet in shell length, and they can reach 150 pounds. It's shell is part of it's skeleton, and permanently attached to the spine and rib cage. Tortoises can feel pressure and pain through their shells, similarly to how you can feel pressure and pain through your finger nails.
When hatched they can fit into the palm of your hand, but it takes 15 years for them to reach full maturity, in part to their slow metabolism, and the fact that they don't spend energy keeping themselves warm. The wild Sulcata Tortoise lives to be 150 years old but in captivity 70 years old is its average lifespan.
In the wild they are considered an endangered species because of habitat loss due to urbanisation, over grazing of live stock, and excessive collection of the Sulcata Tortoise to sell in the pet trade.
I am surprised that they are active at such a low temperature, as they are cold-blooded creatures. Perhaps their large size and rounded shape insulate them.
Hello dear Sonjia :)
It is almost unbelievable that they can live as much as 150 years. They are very beautiful.
My neighbour had for many years ago a little turtle. They had it in the garden.
The tortoise is cool, it would be neat to see them in their African habitat.
It is sad they are endangered, the pet trade business is terrible for a lot of wild animals. Love the photos! Take care, have a happy day and weekend ahead!
they are so beautiful and to me are really amazing. Jungle Gardens has several of them and this makes me sad to read they are endangered. gorgeous photos of these slow-moving critters
Tortoise looks so gorgeous. They are always so calm and composed in their slow movements
Me ha encantado ver las tortugas. Muchos besos.
Thank you for sharing these awesome photos. Tortoises have a special place in my heart.
So sad they are threatened by habitat loss and over-collection for the pet trade.
Hugs and blessings!
What beautiful pictures of the turtles.
I always thought that they lived in a warm climate, but I notice that they can also withstand the cold.
I would have been delighted to share this experience with you, Sonjia, as I am doing now, in fact, via the medium of your photographs. There is something quite appealing about turtles and tortoises, counter-intuitive in a way since they are not furry and cuddly, but nonetheless true. I think it should be an essential requirement that tortoise viewing should only be done after a hot drink and a generous slice of homemade chocolate cake. i think you have set the bar, Sonjia. This requirement will now appear in all field guides to the Testudinidae. It will be henceforth known as Sonjia's Rule. Inviolable too. Big hugs from snowy, cold Ontario - David
They are lovely critters!
That tortoise is quite handsome.
I was not aware of these tortoises, Sonjia, so thank you very much for your beautifully illustrated account of them. They are amazing creatures! It is so sad to learn of their threatened status. Expanding world populations are rapidly bringing the planet to its knees. I cant see it surviving for much longer.
Best wishes to you and Eva from the UK where, at last, we have had a break from wet weather folowed by freezing conditions.
Take good care - - - Richard
So nice to see these photographs of The Sulcata Tortoise, thank you for sharing the information about them too. They live to a good age.
Enjoy your February days.
All the best Jan
These tortoise are really large. Amazing that they can live to be 150 years.
I love the large tortoise, such a cool looking critter. It is amazing how long they can live. You had a nice day at the reserve with Eva. The hot drink and chocolate cake sounds great. Wonderful critter post and photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great weekend. PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.
Gorgeous shots of the tortoise. Such a long life span!
Thanks for sharing such valuable information about the Sulcata Tortoise. Sad that they are endangered due to man-made reasons. They are beautiful too.
Have a great weekend!
I think I lost my comment! I love the shells on this tortoise! Just beautiful! Nice to get out and enjoy seeing these amazing critters.
Heh, the charm of speed. Great photos.
Heh,the charm of speed. Great photos.
Wonderful animals, I do enjoy the tortoise and find them fascinating.
These are lovely animals! I find the tortoise fascinating to observe.
These are lovely animals! I find the tortoise fascinating to observe.
...Sonjia, they are beautiful and a bit like the green turtles that I've seen in Maui. Wildlife has a difficult time of things because of manlike. Enjoy your new week.
What wonderful creatures.
It's amazing to know about this tortoise species, and its shell looks like a new timber! Long live these kinds of species. Glad you enjoyed the day :)
Wow! amazing tortoise and awesome photos ~
Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)
What amazing and beautiful creatures.
Good Morning Sonjia,
Been busy so only just found the time to visit your blog.No longer do Google notify me that you have made an entry so I have to remember to check. Once again you have produced a selection of pics with informative comments. Here we seem to be coming out of Winter but apart from pair of blackbirds digging for worms nothing much is happening in my small garden. Roll on Spring.
Hi Sonjia, amazing creatures those tortoises. Never seen them
but your phots I enjoyed very much. All the best to you,
aww... never seen that kind of tortoises... amazing.
Thank you for sharing photos and descriptions
Wonderful pictures of the Tortoise...I hope he lives a long, safe life...
They are interesting creatures. I have seen two of them in captivity here in Florida -- had no idea they lived quite that long.
Your photos are really spectacular. You can see every single line on their beautiful shells!
Hello Sonija! 😊 Your visit to the Nature Reserve sounds delightful … next time a hot drink and chocolate cake is available please let me know so I can join you. Yes, I’ll buy for both of us. 😊 The large Tortoise is very interesting. I am so curious about the differences in the shell … especially brown vs. blue. Thank you for this information. Best regards to you from Seattle. John
lovely to see. It is years since I saw a living turtle. We do have one in sweden but it might be gone now. ??
I love tortoises! I had five tortoises when I was a boy. My father brought them home from a holiday to Corfu! Something that would be frowned upon these days as well as being illegal! They lived in our Scottish garden for several years and occasionally disappeared and were brought back by neighbours!!
The ones you have photographed are lovely.
There are a few re-introduced giant tortoises on Mauritius. They discovered that some of the native plants don't germinate until they have been through the digestive system of a tortoise, so they brought some from the Virgin and Galapagos Islands to help improve some nature reserves.
Post a Comment