Red-Footed Tortoise

Chelonoidis Carbonaria

Scientific Name

Red-Footed Tortoise:  
Chelonoidis Carbonaria

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

The Red-footed tortoise is native to South America. It has also been introduced to many islands in the Caribbean.

Natural Habitat

The Red-foot occupies all types of forest habitat (rainforest, temperate forest, and dry thorn forest), and also dwells in savanna areas, including man-made grasslands resulting from ranching and slash-and-burn agricultural practices. Forest edges and savannas seem to be the preferred habitat for this species.

Physical Characteristics

  • Red-foot males are larger than females in carpace length and weight, but are not wider or taller. Males can easily reach twenty pounds (9kg) or more, while females weigh a bit less. As with other tortoise species, male red-foots have a concave plastron. As red-foots mature both sexes develop an “hourglass” figure. Mature males also have longer and wider tails than females. They usually live 40-50 years.

Quick Facts

  1. In the wild, the Red-foot Tortoise lays clutches of 5-15 eggs between July and September.

  2. The red-foot has been an enduring favorite in the herpetocultural trade for years.

  3. This species is named so, due to the red, yellow and orange scales on its limbs, head and tail.


Education Department

Conservation Status

Least Concern: The Red-Footed Tortoise is common or abundant and is likely to survive in the wild.

Help Us End Extinction

Adoption is simple. Show how much you care about animals all year round by selecting your favorite animal from our adoption list.



Red-foot Tortoises are herbivorous. In captivity, Red-foots should be fed a mixture of high calcium greens, fruits, vegetables, and flowers and a small amount of animal protein. Appropriate greens include dandelion greens, turnip greens, collard greens, endive and escarole lettuce, Greenleaf and redleaf lettuces, grape leaves and hibiscus leaves.