Due to their hard shells and thick skins, adult desert tortoises are only preyed upon by mountain lions. Young desert tortoises are much more vulnerable, and they are also eaten by kit foxes, coyotes, feral dogs, gray foxes, bobcats, badgers, ravens, roadrunners and Gila monsters.
Female desert tortoises guard their vulnerable eggs for a time, but once they hatch, young tortoises must rely on their cryptic coloration to survive. Desert tortoises shelter in burrows when they are not seeking food or mates, and they are adept diggers. As a last resort, desert tortoises of all ages urinate to make themselves less palatable to potential predators.