Sulcata tortoises are large reptiles, also commonly referred to as the “African spurred tortoise.” These creatures are the third largest species of tortoise in the world, behind the Galapagos tortoise and Albrada giant tortoise. Sulcatas can grow to be well over 230 lbs., and live as long as 70 years! Read on to learn about the sulcata tortoise.
Description of the Sulcata Tortoise
These tortoises can grow to be quite large. They can be up to 33 in. long, and grow quite rapidly from the time that they hatch. Within the first few years of hatching, these tortoises can grow to 10 in. long. Fully grown, they weigh in at a hefty 230 lbs.! Their shells are large and domed, and their skin is thick and leathery.
Interesting Facts About the Sulcata Tortoise
These tortoises are some of the largest pet tortoise species available. It is not uncommon for the owners of these creatures to underestimate the commitment required for their care. Learn more about Sulcata tortoises below.
Habitat of the Sulcata Tortoise
These tortoises inhabit deserts and semiarid regions in northern Africa. They are commonly found in grasslands, deserts, savannas, and thorn scrubland. Ideal habitats for these creatures have loose enough soil to allow for digging burrows, but not so loose that the burrow collapses. Excessive rockiness can also impede burrow digging.
Distribution of the Sulcata Tortoise
Sulcatas are found in northern Africa, in the Sahara Desert, and the Sahel semiarid regions. They can be found in Senegal, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Chad, Mauritania, Eritrea, Mali, and Ethiopia. This species is also found in zoological institutions worldwide, and is a somewhat common pet reptile.
Diet of the Sulcata Tortoise
Sulcata tortoises are herbivores, which means that they primarily eat plants. In the wild, their primary sources of food are grasses. They generally consume high amounts of fiber, and very low amounts of protein. In addition to grass, they also eat flowers, cactus pads, leaves, and dandelions.