Galapagos Giant Tortoise (Geochelone elephantopus), at the Riverside Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina. ET call home...
The Galapagos Giant Tortoise is the largest living tortoise, endemic to nine islands of the Galapagos archipelago. Adults of large subspecies can weigh over 300 kilograms (660 lb) and measure 1.2 meters (4 ft) long. Life expectancy of a wild tortoise is estimated to be 150-200 years. In all subspecies, males have a concave undershell, which facilitates mating. The male is also always larger than the female.
The tortoises are herbivorous animals with a diet consisting of cactus, grasses, leaves, vines and fruit. Galapagos tortoises eat a large quantity of food when it is available at the expense of incomplete digestion. By acquiring most of their moisture from the dew and sap in vegetation, they can go for long periods without actually drinking. They can also survive for long periods of time being forcefully deprived of all liquids, by breaking down their body fat to produce water.
Mating occurs at any time of the year although it does have seasonal peaks, usually between January and August. When two mature males meet in the mating season, they will rise up on their legs and stretch up their necks to assess dominance. The shorter tortoise will back off leaving the taller, larger tortoise to mate with the female. Frustrated non-dominant males have been observed attempting to mate with other males and boulders. The male tortoise bellows loudly and bobs his head to attract a female. The male then rams the female with the front of its shell and nips her exposed legs until she draws them in, immobilizing her. Mating may last for several hours and the males may "roar" hoarsely. Males have a concave base to their shell and mount the females from behind. It brings its tail which houses the penis into the female's cloaca.
More info: [link]
Kindly featured by Lara
in her journal: [link]