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Texas Tortoise


Southern Texas and north-eastern Mexico.


Sandy soils in open woods and chaparral.


A rounded carapace which may be as broad as is long, and its coloration varies from tan to dark brown. Feet stumpy; plastron rigid. Gular scutes of plastron may be greatly elongated, forked, and curved upward, especially in adult males used for breeding battles.


Prowling actively in hot weather, but usually in early morning or late afternoon. Burrows are sometimes constructed in sandy soil, but they normally spend their time resting in shallow pallets. They often enter mammal burrows to conceal themselves entirely.


The young are about 1 1/2 – 2 inches (long and across) in length and have a large scute of carapace with a yellow center.

Texas Tortoise
Class: reptile
Genus: Gopherus
Species: berlandieri
Length: 5 1/2- 8 in. Record is 8 3/4 in.
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Wild Diet: Food consists mainly of grass and the pads, flowers, and fruits of the prickly pear, but other vegetation also is eaten.
Zoo Diet: N/A
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Off Exhibit: Education Animal Facility

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