California Desert Tortoise

  • Scientific name: Gopherus agassizii
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Sauropsid
  • Order: Testudines
  • Family: Testudinoidea
  • Genus: Gopherus
  • Species: G. agassizii
California Desert Tortoise

Fun Facts


  • These tortoises are able to live where ground temperatures may exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Wild populations have declined by 90% since the 1980s.
  • Ravens cause more than 50% of juvenile desert threatened species tortoise deaths in some areas of the Mojave Desert.
  • They eat a variety of desert plants, although forbs and green vegetation are what they prefer.
  • They live 60 to 100 years.
  • They can grow 9 to 15 inches and weigh 8 to 15 pounds. (Listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)