Distribution and Habitat
The Red-footed tortoise is native to South America. It has also been introduced to many islands in the Caribbean.
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.
Red-foot males are larger than females in carapace (the hard upper shell) length and weight, but are not wider or taller. Males can easily reach twenty pounds (9 kg) or more, while females weigh a bit less. As with other tortoise species, male Red-foots have a concave plastron (underside of shell). 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.
In the wild, the Red-foot tortoise lays clutches of 5–15 eggs between July and September.
This species is named due to the red, yellow, and orange scales on its limbs, head, and tail.