A Large Piece of Prehistoric History – The Giant Aldabra Tortoise

You may think we are millions of years away from prehistoric reptiles that once roamed the earth, however the Giant Aldabra Tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea) is probably one of the closest you can be to it!

These giants, originally from the Aldabra Coral Atoll Islands in the Indian Ocean, were nearly hunted to extinction for both food and shells, by the end of the 19th century. However due to conservation efforts and breeding programs there is now more than 100,000 mainly in protected islands and national parks across the Indian Ocean.

These giants can live to several hundred years old, with the oldest ever dated to be 255 years old! Several of these individuals may have met Darwin himself when he started several conservation plans in the Seychelles 1n he 1870’s.

These majestic giants probably should have been wiped out years ago if there had been any predators around as they dont put up much of a fight. Luckily for us they are here to remind us that slow and steady really can win the race!


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