Galapagos Giant Tortoise shapes

The Galapagos Giant Tortoise is probably the best well known animal of the Galapagos Isles. Galapagos Giant Tortoises keep growing until they are about 40 - 50 years old and can reach a weight of 500 pounds.

The Galapagos Giant Tortoise can grow to be 5 feet tall this makes them the largest tortoises in the world. In general, they are the longest living of all vertebrates (animals with backbones).

The Galapagos Giant Tortoise can live for more than 100 years, the oldest recorded tortoise being 152 years old.

The Giant Tortoises are thought to belong to just one species, Geochelone elephantopus, with 14 different races or sub-species, four of which are believed to be extinct. Only one male, Lonesome George, of the four extinct races exists.

Previously he lived on Pinta Island, but is presently kept at the Charles Darwin Research Station. It is likely that all the present races of Giant Tortoise evolved in Galapagos from a common ancestor that arrived from the mainland, floating on the ocean currents. Although this seems an incredible journey, it is known that Galapagos Tortoises can float easily in sea water. Only a single pregnant female or one male and one female needed to arrive in this way, and then survive, for Galapagos to be colonised.