Distribution and habitat

Distribution

The Aldabra giant tortoise, as the name suggests, lives on the remote Aldabra atoll, one of the Seychelles group of islands in the Indian Ocean.

Other tortoise species lived on other Indian Ocean islands, but most of these were hunted to extinction in the 1700s and 1800s.

Habitat

Aldabra tortoises tend to spend their lives grazing low-growing vegetation, but will cover surprising distances in search of food.

They are very much at home on bare rock and thin soil, but like to keep cool in pools or shady places.

They can drink from very shallow pools through their nostrils, and the name Dipsochelys refers to this remarkable adaptation.