Desert Tortoises, also known as Gopherus agassizii and Gopherus morafkai, are incredible reptiles with robust features that enable them to live for many years! They are able to withstand extreme arid conditions and hot ground temperatures so it is no surprise that they can adapt to the climate of the Mojave, Sonoran and Arizonian Deserts where they commonly form their habitats at high elevations.

We are helping to teach kids key facts and important info about desert biome animals so with the guidance of our printable facts sheet about the Desert Tortoise, kids can learn all about the reptile's habitat, hibernation period, size, characteristics, diet, predators, adaptations, lifespan, lifecycle, and why this animal is becoming increasingly endangered by man.

Interesting Facts about the Desert Tortoise:- Learn Fun Desert Tortoise Facts for children with Factsmania! Discover how the Desert Tortoise makes many adaptations in order to survive life in the deserts of the Mojave, Sonoran and Arizona; typically harsh environments subject to very dry conditions, high temperatures, lack of vegetation and water, and predators.

Interesting Facts about the Desert Tortoise:- Discover why animals are important and how they manage to live in hot biomes amongst their predators. Explore interesting facts about the characteristics, habitats and diet of the Desert Tortoise and how they survive, change and adapt to the arid climate conditions and temperature of the Mojave, Sonoran and Arizona deserts.

Interesting Desert Tortoise Facts for Kids

Desert Tortoise Fact File for Kids:- Scientific Name Facts: The Desert Tortoise is also known as Gopherus agassizii and Gopherus morafkai ***Family: The Desert Tortoise belongs to the Testudinidae Family *** Desert Tortoise Classification: Reptile *** Desert Tortoise Size: 25cm to 36cm long*** Desert Tortoise Lifespan:  50 years to  80 years ***

Interesting Facts for Kids 1:- What does a Desert Tortoise look like?
The color of the Desert Tortoise varies depending on the color of the sand in the desert biome. This animal can be brown as well as grayish in color, some also have a greenish tan to their shells. Ultimately, this reptile must to able to protect itself from potential threats from predators. Therefore, it is able to hide by camouflaging itself.

Interesting Facts for Kids 2:- Where does the Desert Tortoise live?
The Desert Tortoise can live in extremely dry deserts such as the Mojave and the Sonoran Desert. They can be found living in the Arizonian Desert, as well as in Nevada and Utah too. This particular reptile species live in the bush and shrub habitat at elevations ranging from 1,000 feet to 3,000 feet. Some Desert Tortoises can inhabit areas at 5,000 feet above sea level too.

Interesting Facts for Kids 3:- What is the size of a Desert Tortoise?
A fully grown adult Desert Tortoise can grow to a length of around 25 cm to 36 cm. The males are larger than the female species, and in comparison to the female, has a longer gular horn. Its lower shell (the plastron) is concave as compared to the female. Species of Male Desert Tortoise have larger tails that can grow up to 15cm high and weight around 11 pounds. These particular reptiles have long back legs and their front legs have claw-like scales to enable them to dig.

Interesting Facts for Kids 4:- What is the lifespan of a Desert Tortoise?
The Desert Tortoise can live a long life often spanning between 50 years to 80 years. Generally, most tortoises live a long time with some species living more than 150 years! This ancient reptile species is thought to be the world's oldest animal in existence. Their lifespan is incredible, particularly when compared to many other types of animals, and even human beings!

Interesting Facts for Kids 5:- What is the lifecycle of a Desert Tortoise?
The mating season of the Desert Tortoise starts in late summer and ends in early fall. The females do not usually breed until they reach the age of 15 to 20 years. They lay about 4 to 6 eggs soon thereafter. The gestation period is around 10 to 12 months. When the eggs hatch, the hatchlings are around 2 inches long and they have a very high mortality rate. Very often, only about 2% of the hatchlings will survive until adulthood. About 47% to 51% of the Mojave Desert Tortoises survive from hatching to 1 year of age. Subsequently, the survival rate increases to 71% to 89% up to 4 years. Once they cross this hurdle, they can survive for many years, until they are very old.

Interesting Facts for Kids 6:- What is the diet of a Desert Tortoise?
The Desert Tortoise is an herbivorous animal. It eats desert grass, herbs, wildflowers, as well as certain types of cacti. During the course of its diet, the tortoise sometimes ingests stones as well as soil. They may be a source of supplementary calcium or other minerals as well. The stones can also help with proper digestion of the plant material. Being a Desert Tortoise often means limited access to water but fortunately, this animal gets its daily supply of water from the fruits and flowers that it eats every day.

Interesting Facts for Kids 7:- What are the Desert Tortoise predators?
Other desert animals such as the ravens, Gila monsters, foxes, coyotes, roadrunners, and fire ants are predators of the Desert Tortoise, especially when they are young. Man also poses a threat to the Desert Tortoise in his endeavor to build solar and wind farms across the Arizona Desert which whilst providing excellent renewable energy sources to our planet, has in turn seen the destruction of many animal habitats and thus, this species of tortoise.

Interesting Facts for Kids 8:- What are the adaptations of a Desert Tortoise?
The Desert Tortoise can withstand ground temperatures in excess of 600 degrees Celsius as they can dig deep burrows up to six feet in depth. This enables them to escape the heat of the summer as well as the cold of the winter. The Desert Tortoise spends up to 98% of its life in the burrows. They hibernate for long periods during the winter months and venture out into the open in early spring searching for food. The Desert Tortoise has the ability to store water in their bodies. They use this stored-up water during the summer months. Although, they do not drink much water as such as they obtain their water requirement from the flowers and grasses that this herbivorous animal eats. The Desert Tortoise can also dig basins to store rainwater.

Interesting Facts for Kids 9:- What is the habitat of a Desert Tortoise?
The Desert Tortoise lives in the hot deserts of the Mojave and the Sonoran Desert. They can also be found in Nevada, Utah, as well as Arizona. The tortoise digs burrows and stays underground for an overwhelming majority of the time. They tend to create their habitats at a height of around 3,500 meters above sea level.

Interesting Facts for Kids 10:- What is the hibernation period of a Desert Tortoise?
The Desert Tortoise spends around 98% of its life inside burrows under the ground. They spend the winter months from November to March in hibernation. They live in a torpid and dormant stage in the underground burrows, and during this period, they do not eat anything. When the Desert Tortoise hibernates, it is able to survive by using up the stock of food stored in their bodies from the spring and summer months.

Interesting Facts for Kids 11:- Desert Tortoise Unique Facts:

Fact 1: The younger tortoises are usually a lighter colour. They develop the dark brown tan color, as they grow older.
Fact 2: These incredible reptile species can survive even when the ground temperature rises above 600 degrees Celsius!
Fact 3: The Desert Tortoise eats for around six months at a stretch, when they venture out in the spring through to the summer season.
Fact 4: They store food inside their bodies in preparation for the winter months when they go into hibernation.
Fact 5: The Desert Tortoise can build water basins for collection of rainwater. They are able to do this as this amazing reptile has an excellent memory. They return to their base to replenish their supply of water after a spell of rain!
Fact 6: The Desert Tortoise stores water in its stomach. If they feel threatened or sense danger, they release this water from their bodies in the form of urine. If this animal is unable to replenish its water supply, it may die of dehydration.
Fact 7: Normally, the Desert Tortoise has a very long life span, ranging up to 80 years!

Interesting Facts about Desert Tortoise for Kids

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