Tortoises are beautiful, slow-moving animals (the record for the fastest-moving tortoise was 0.63 miles per hour). Tortoises are the longest-living land animal in the world, with the record for the longest-living tortoise going to a Galapagos tortoise who lived to be 188 years old!
At Tiny Tails to You we have Red-Footed Tortoises and Russian Tortoises, both species live to be an average of 50 years old (not long for a tortoise but very long for a small animal!). Red-Footed Tortoises are one of the most social tortoise species and enjoy being around their human friends. In the wild, red-footed tortoises often display social behavior, sharing food and gathering in small groups.
A tortoise shell is made out of keratin, the same thing as our fingernails! If you tap your fingernails you can tell how hard a tortoise shell is. Tortoises can not leave their shells (like hermit crabs can) but instead their shells are a part of their bodies that grow with them throughout their lives. A tortoises’ rib cage is attached to the inside of their shell and they even have nerve endings in their shells which means that they can feel it when their shells are pet or scratched!
Tortoises are primarily herbivores but the Red-Footed Tortoise is an exception. Red-Foots are opportunists which is different from omnivores or herbivores. Red-Foots eat primarily plant matter (fruits, vegetables, grasses, hay) but if given the opportunity, they will eat protein such as bugs or eggs. This is a rare behavior for tortoises. Although they do not need protein to survive, they will take the opportunity to eat it if available, so neat!