There were originally fifteen different subspecies of Galapagos giant tortoise each evolved to suit the conditions on the different islands.

Breeding

Sexual maturity is reached at 20 to 25 years old. The male tortoise bellows loudly and bobs his head to attract a female. 10-20 spherical eggs, no bigger than a chicken's egg, are incubated for 2 months by being buried in sand or soil in range of the sun's rays. The baby tortoises when they hatch are 6cm long with soft shells and because of this predators such as crabs and birds find them easy prey. The tortoises grow slowly and even at 2 years old they are not much bigger than a man's fist. They will keep growing for about 40 years until they reach their full size.

Read More: Threats to the Galapagos Tortoise