Butterfly Garden

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 two Spurred Tortoises who live in an underground burrow. Speedy is an 11-year-old male weighing 60 pounds, and Tortilla is a nine-year-old, 40-pound female. Both tortoises enjoy lounging in their burrow, exploring their enclosed habitat and eating plants (they are herbivores). Stop by during our tortoise feeding hours during the summer at 2:15 on Wednesdays and Saturdays to help us give them leafy greens, fruits and veggies. If the tortoises are resting in their burrow, you can watch them on our 360-degree tortoise cam in the lobby. Don’t forget to bring your great-grandchildren back to see Speedy and Tortilla, who may still be going strong at 100 years old.


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