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Southeastern US

Gopher Tortoise

This is one of the few tortoise species that digs a burrow and it may spend 80% of its time in that burrow.  It's not alone down there - as many as 400 other animal species rely on the tortoise burrow for shelter and many hibernate it the burrow along with the tortoise.


The gopher tortoise is a protected species.  A Federal permit is required to possess, study or relocate any gopher tortoise.

HABITATLongleaf pine forests, sandy ridges
DIETGrass, legumes, fruit, carrion
LIFE Expectancy40 years

Fun Fact
When a cassowary or emu female mates, she lays the eggs, but the male incubates and raises them. The female may mate with 2 or 3 males a season.
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