What Is the Average Life Span of a Tortoise?


Quick Answer

Large Galapagos tortoises can live up to 150 years or more, while a small pet tortoise, such as the red-footed tortoise, can live up to 50 years. Part of the reason why they live so long is their slow metabolism.

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Full Answer

The slow metabolism of the Galapagos tortoise contributed to their demise. Part of their appeal as a food source for ships sailing around the islands during the 1800s is the fact that these animals can go a year without food or water. Their slow growth rate also made them vulnerable to predation from introduced pests, such as rats, until they were about five years old.

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