Apartment Builders of the Wild!
Since we we’re talking about burrows this week, we wanted to feature one of the best burrowers of animal world! These cute reptiles are the state reptile of Georgia too (our home state)!
- Gopher tortoises live in the sandy soil habitats of the Southeastern United States.
- Gopher tortoises grow up to 12 inches long and have an average weight of 9 lbs.
- They are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.
- These tortoises are herbivores. They eat up to 300 varieties of plants.
- They rarely drink water because they get it from plants.
- Gopher tortoises are a keystone species. The burrows they dig are important, as they provide shelter for many animals, including indigo snakes, burrow owls and rabbits. Scientists think up to 400 species of animals use gopher tortoise burrows!
- Like other tortoises, gophers do not swim and spend their life on land.
- Gopher tortoises front feet are shaped like shovels to help them dig those burrows.
- These tortoises have suffered major habitat loss and are now protected in every state the live in, because of this! Without them, many animals would not have shelter.
Let’s give three cheers for these amazing reptiles! Go Gopher Tortoises!