Tortoises.

In the aftermath I have learned the difference between turtle and tortoise. The turtle live in the water and the tortoise on land. So we saw almost only tortoises.

The first time we met them was on the fields around a restaurant where we had lunch. It was a strange sight to see all these mounds and know they were living.

They were big and moved slowly and the only thing they did if we got to close was to retire into their shell.

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Totoises have clearly the right of way.

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The females were much smaller than the male as she once a year walked to the closest beach with warm sand to lay eggs. It was 25-30 km away and with a rather modest walking speed this took time and it was an advantage to be light. In the meantime the males could continue their lazy life-style. It is the temperature in the sand that decides the distribution between males and females that will be hatched.

The best way to see the differene between male and female was to look at the “undershell”. The male has a concave shell, while the female has a convex. It makes it much easier to mate, a convex and concave surface is much more stable than two convex surfaces on top of each other.

On Isabella we visited a rehabiliation farm for tortoises. For instance, one of the vulcanos on Isabella erupted and one specie of tortoises was in danger and since their speed to escape is very moderate, they took a number down to this farm and bred them. Here are some pictures from this farm.

Four weeks old and the type of egg it is coming from.

 

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