Did you know the Memphis Zoo is home to four different kinds of giant tortoises! Step into their habitat with us as Liz Harrell from the zoo tells us all about these amazing creatures.
You’ve probably heard of a Galapagos tortoise, but did you know that there are other types of giant tortoises as well? The Galapagos might be the biggest, but there are other species of giant tortoises that still live up to the title of “giant.” Four of these species are currently living at the Memphis Zoo, and you can check them out for yourself!
Not all turtles are tortoises
As you’ll hear in the video above, all tortoises are turtles but not all turtles are tortoises. One of the biggest differences is that tortoises do spend some amount of time in water and mud puddles, but for the most part they are land-dwelling reptiles. Meanwhile, turtles will spend most of their time in water as they are more equipped to do so.
More on the giant tortoises at the Memphis Zoo
The Memphis Zoo is home to the Galapagos, the Aldabra, the Sulcata and the Leopard species of giant tortoises. Because they are grazers, they mostly eat things like boughs from bamboo trees or sweet potato vines. They love getting attention from the keepers as well. They can feel through their shells. so they love to be scratched and rubbed on, kind of like your dog likes a good belly scratch! Most people think that they can leave their shells like you’ve seen in cartoons, but they will actually never leave their shell. Their shells are made of bone, so instead the shell will grow with the tortoise.