Florida Gopher Tortoise

Gopher Tortoise with Tongue Out

Gopher Tortoise with Tongue Out

Adult Gopher Tortoise

Adult Gopher Tortoise

Baby Gopher Tortoise

Baby Gopher Tortoise

Baby Gopher Tortoise Has a Pretty Shell

Baby Gopher Tortoise Has a Pretty Shell

Baby Gopher Tortoise Walking

Baby Gopher Tortoise Walking

Wildlife Sign: Gopher Tortoise Burrow

Wildlife Sign: Gopher Tortoise Burrow

Another Wildlife Sign: Gopher Tortoise Burrow

Another Wildlife Sign: Gopher Tortoise Burrow

Gopher Tortoises are a threatened species in Florida.  In general, adult tortoises reach up to 12 inches long, and weigh 10-30 pounds.  Gopher tortoises live a long time (wild tortoises live 40-60 years, and in captivity live up to 100 years).  Tortoises are often seen sunning themselves at the entrance to their sandy burrows.  Eggs are laid near the entrance mound during the warmer months; hatchling sex depends on temperature.  The average length of an underground burrow is 15 feet, but one record burrow was 47 feet long!   Over 350 species share the burrow with the tortoise, so it can get a little crowded in there sometimes (besides the tortoise, burrow inhabits include snakes, spiders, crickets, skinks, the Florida mouse, cottontail rabbit, and burrowing owls).  When it rains, gopher tortoises use their feet to puddle up water for a drink; otherwise they do not seek out water.

About Pam
Richard and Pam lived in the San Francisco Bay Area 14 years (1987-1999 and 2008-2011). They lived in Florida 13 years previously, until returning in July 2011 to present. They hope their photography will encourage you to get out and discover nature's beauty in your own backyard, parks, and wild places. Click on any pictures on this blog to see them full size with additional details.

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