There are several different kinds of tortoises, but the commonly recognized giant Galapagos tortoise is native to the Galapagos islands. The Galapagos Islands are located off the coast of South America in the Pacific Ocean.
Galapagos tortoises are characterized by their large size and long lifespans. The average Galapagos tortoise reaches 4 feet in size, weighs 475 pounds and can live upwards of 100 years. As of 2014, Galapagos tortoises are an endangered species.
The United States is home to the much smaller desert tortoise. This species only grows to 9 to 15 inches in length, weighs between 8 and 15 pounds and lives 50 to 80 years.