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Desert Tortoise, Xerobates (Gopherus) agassizii Cooper

Taxonomy
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Chelonia
    • Suborder: Cryptodira
    • Family: Testudinidae
      • Genus Xerobates
        • (formerly Gopherus)
      • Species: agassizii
      Vital Stats
      • Weight: 8-15 lbs. (heavier in captivity)
        • Length (carapace): 9-15"
          • Height: 4-6"
      • Sexual Maturity: 15-20 years
      • Mating Season: Aug.-Oct.
      • Incubation Period: 90-120 days
      • No. Of Eggs: 4-8
      • Birth Interval: 1-3/year
      • Lifespan: 80-100 years
      • Typical diet: Herbs, grasses, wildflowers

Morafka’s Desert Tortoise, Gopherus morafkai Murphy & Berry & Edwards & Leviton & Lathrop & Riedle, 2011 (Article: 1, 2, 3, 4, )
Taxonomy
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Chelonia
    • Suborder: Cryptodira
    • Family: Testudinidae
      • Genus Xerobates
        • (formerly Gopherus)
      • Species: morafkai
Morphologically, Gopherus morafkai can be separated from Gopherus agassizii in having a relatively narrower shell, shorter gular scutes, shorter projections of the anal scutes and in having a flatter, pear-shaped carapace. (1)

Ecologically, whereas Gopherus agassizii predominantly occurs in valleys and alluvial fan topography, Gopherus morafkai prefers slopes and rocky hillsides. (1, 2, )

      Vital Stats
       
  • Weight:
    • Length (carapace):
      • Height:
  • Brumation: Fall
  • Sexual Maturity:
  • Mating Season: Courtship and breeding occurring in July–September
  • Egg Laying: oviposition in June and July
  • Incubation Period:
  • No. Of Eggs: 1–12 eggs with a mean of 5.7 eggs
  • Birth Interval: only produces 1 clutch every 1–2 yr
  • Adult Lifespan: 80-100 years
  • Typical diet: Herbs, grasses, wildflowers

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Captive Care:

Taking Care of a Desert Tortoise Hatchling...

  • Tortoise, Teacher and Student Friendly "Tortoise in the classroom" Set-up.

    Materials for the classroom "set-up" at left can all be purchased at "WalMart. All you need is a four handled white Rubbermaid laundry basket, one small kitty litter box with snap-on litter guard (test and see if it fits in the laundry basket), an 18" "under cabinet portable light" bar, an 18", 15w GE "Sunshine" Full Spectrum Light fluorescent light bulb, an incandescent "clamp" light, one 65w indoor reflector floodlight, a shallow terra cotta pot plate, substrate of your choosing, wax paper for newborns and some wire to fix the light bar across the basket's narrowest dimension. A shelter can be added as needed.

    This set-up is well ventilated and can be easily moved outside or from class to class. It is designed to not easily break and to put the occupants within easy view and reach of students when placed on the floor or a student's desk.


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  • Reptile Care-Givers Forums, places where you can ask you questions and check back later for an answer...
  • Observations
    • A Recipe to Combat URD Outbreaks in Hibernating Desert Tortoises
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