Red Footed Tortoise

The Red Footed Tortoise is a species of tortoise from northern South America. These medium-sized tortoises generally average 12 inches as adults, but can reach over 16 inches. They have dark-coloured, loaf-shaped shells, with a lighter patch in the middle of each scute (Scales on the shell), and dark limbs with brightly coloured scales that range from pale yellow to dark red.

Their natural habitat ranges from savannah to forest edges around the Amazon Basin. They are omnivorous with a diet based on a wide assortment of plants, mostly fruit when available, but also including grasses, flowers, fungi, carrion, and invertebrates.

Eggs, hatchlings, and young tortoises are food for many predators, but the main threats for adults are jaguars and humans. Population density ranges from locally common to very scarce due in part to habitat destruction and over-collection for food and the pet trade.

Red Footed Tortoise @ Safari Niagara

  • Safari Niagara‚Äôs Red Footed Tortoise can be found at our reptile house.
  • Sometimes it can be found travelling with the Safari Niagara Zooniversity Outreach Show

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Family: Testudinidae
Genus: Chelonoidis
Species: C. carbonarius

Did you know?

  • Red Footed Tortoises seek out foods high in calcium even if other foods are more readily available.
  • Red Footed Tortoises generally spend over 50% of the daylight hours at rest.
  • Shelters are often communal with as may tortoises as can fit in the space.