Chelonoidis – Neotropic tortoises

Home of the largest tortoise on the planet

Chelonoidis is the genus of the largest extant tortoises/turtles, found extensively throughout most of South America and the Galapagos. This genus also includes the Giant Galapagos Tortoise, the largest extant tortoise species present on this planet and the 13th heaviest reptile alive.

Despite being such large creatures, these reptiles can be relatively swift and agile. At the first sign of danger, they quickly retreat inside their incredibly robust shells, and because of their heft, strategies like dropping a turtle from great heights can’t be applied to them.

But their weight can also be their bane because if they flip themselves on their back by mistake, they will surely die of starvation unless and until some external help is given.