Desert Tortoises

By Srija Chunduri



Kingdom Animalia: Multicellular.They are

Heterotrophs- rely on other organisms for food. Have

specialized organs.


  • bilateral symmetry
  • Long Tail
  • notochord:rod that extends the length of the fully developed body

Subphylum Vertebrata:

  • Has Bony element that run down head to tail
  • Paired kidneys
  • Move because of muscles attached to endoskeleton
Class Reptilia:
  • Egg are protected my the environment
  • eggs are covered with leathery shell
  • They are lepidosaaurs { reptiles with overlapping scales}
Order Testudines:
  • Have shells

  • shell cant be taken off

  • Limb bones are sufficient for fitting in the shell

Genes: Gopherus

Spices: Gopherus agassizii

General Description

Height: Height is 4 to 6 inches

Length:The length is 9 to 15 inches

Weight: It can weigh up to 8-15 lbs

Natural range: Tortoises live in dry areas


adapted to eat a few bugs for protein

Habitat Description: sandy and wooden regions


  • it foxes

  • coyotes
  • feral dogs
  • gray foxes
  • bobcats
  • badgers
  • golden eagles
  • common ravens
  • greater roadrunners
  • Gila monsters
Color: dull brown to a dull yellow

Behavioral Adaptations

  • They go in burrow to sleep and come out in morning but then go back to get out of the midday heat in the summer.
  • concentrate their activity in the spring
  • stay in during the hot dry summer
  • dig though desert sand and find shelter
  • desert tortoises dig burrows where they can rest when it is too hot or too cold

Physical Adaptations

  • The claws of a turtle helps it climb.
  • Horns that are used for leverage in male-male combat.
  • Its shell protects it from getting hurt.
  • Long nails to dig though desert sand and find shelter
  • inward curve allows him to achieve the upright position they need for mating.


Armstrong, M. (2007). Wildlife and plants: [Tern to warbler] (3rd ed., Vol. 18). New York: Marshall Cavendish.

Burton, M. (2002). Tortoise. In International wildlife encyclopedia (3rd ed., Vol. 19, pp. 2711-2713). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.

Crozier, G. 1999. "Gopherus agassizii" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 11, 2015 at

Dessert USA. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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sandiego zoo. (n.d.). Retrieved from