Red Footed Tortoise Facts for Kids

Red-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonaria) is a medium-sized tortoise and it is native to South America. The sizes, colors and shapes of its shells vary from one region to another. Female tortoises are not as colorful as their male counterparts and are also relatively shorter in size.

It has relatively large eyes and small head. There are 15 to 20 teeth on both sides of its jaw. The scales on its head are yellowish-red in color. The upper shell is shaped like a loaf and has a smooth darker appearance. Its limbs are also black with brick-red to yellow in color. The carapace (upper shell) of these tortoises is speckled with light spots. It does not have toes and its limbs have four claws.

On average, these tortoises can grow from 30 to 35 centimeters in length. However, they can be as long as 45 to 50 centimeters. The maximum size of a red-footed tortoise is 60 centimeters and with a weight of 62 pounds.

The lifespan of these tortoises is more than 30 years.

Mating can occur anytime but probably the peak season is April to May.

A female tortoise lays a clutch size of 2 to 7 eggs. The average weight of each egg is 50 grams. The eggs are hatched after averaging 150 days.

They are distributed in the northern region of South America. They are present from southern Panama to Guiana to the north and from Colombia to Bolivia to the south.

Treefalls is usually the most common habitat of these tortoises. They inhabit unoccupied logs, burrows, dense vegetation and piles of rubble.

Red-footed tortoises are omnivorous reptiles. The seed pods and fruits form the main component of their diet like cacti, bromiliads, spondias, figs, Annona and pehen. They also feed on flowers, fungi, beetles, worms, carrions and young branches of plants.

Some of the predators that eat hatchlings, eggs and young red-footed tortoises are mongooses, rats, ring-tailed coatis, tegu lizards, rails, snakes, falcons, guan, feral dogs, foxes, curassow and opossums.

Humans and jaguars are the predators of adult red-footed tortoises.

Other Names: Red-legged Tortoise, Savanna Tortoise

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