Red-footed tortoise in exhibit

Red-footed Tortoise

Scientific Name

Chelonoidis carbonaria

Class

Reptilia

Order

Testudines

Range

South America, Trinidad, and Barbados

Habitat

Forests, grasslands, and agricultural areas

Estimated Wild Population

n/a
Red-footed tortoise in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Not Listed IUCN Conservation Status: Not Listed

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Physical Description

Red-footed tortoises were named for the red-and-orange markings scattered across their limbs and face. They have bumpy, concave, greenish-brown shells and display upraised points on their central plates. These tortoises can reach up to 14 inches in length. As omnivores, they feed primarily on fruit, greens, plants, vegetables, and dead animals. After breeding, females bury their eggs in nests along the forest floor.

Interesting Fact 1

Red-footed tortoises communicate primarily through head movements.

Interesting Fact 2

To attract a mate, males fight for dominance, which can include mounting their opponents and flipping them onto their back.

Interesting Fact 3

Immediately upon hatching, newborns must dig their way out of their nest and fend for themselves. Few individuals survive per clutch, but adults can live up to 50 years.

Animal Care staff working with seal

Commitment to Care

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Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

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The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.  

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Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

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