African Spurred Tortoises

African Spurred Tortoises, native to the Sahara Desert, are unique reptiles known for digging extensive burrows in the ground to escape the heat. Their name comes from the enlarged, pointed scales on the hind limbs. These animals can reach over 200 pounds in size and can live up to 150 years! At the Science Mill, we have three Spurred Tortoises who live in an underground burrow. Speedy is an 11-year-old male weighing 60 pounds, Tortilla is a nine-year-old, 40-pound female and Miss Jiff is 5 year-old female weighing 20 pounds. The tortoises enjoy lounging in their burrow, exploring their enclosed habitat and eating plants (they are herbivores). Stop by during our tortoise feedings at 2:15 on Saturdays and Sundays to help us give them leafy greens, fruits and veggies. If the tortoises are resting in their burrow, you can watch them on our tortoise cam in the lobby. Don’t forget to bring your great-grandchildren back to see Speedy, Tortilla and Miss Jiff, who may still be going strong at 100 years old.


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