Yellow-Footed Tortoise

Chelonoidis denticulata

DID YOU KNOW?

These tortoises can live for more than fifty years!


Add to Trip Planner

Yellow-Footed Tortoise

The Yellow-Footed Tortoise gets its name from the distinctive yellow or orange colored scales found on its limbs. The head is also brown with yellow markings.

Yellow-Footed Tortoises communicate with each other with rapid head movements. Females lay approximately 4 to 8 eggs in each clutch, with a year-round breeding period. Yellow-Footed Tortoise eggs incubate for around 100-200 days. Typically, males are bigger than females but most extremely large individuals are females. Males can be identified by the concave shape of their lower shell or plastron.

Dwelling amongst the leaf litter of the rainforest floor, Yellow-Footed Tortoises enjoy soaking in pools, basking in humid areas, and burrowing into moist mulch and leaves.

Diet

This type of tortoise eats an assortment of fallen fruits, leaves, grass, and occasionally carrion or insects.

Size

As adults, yellow-footed tortoises are most frequently around 15 to 20 pounds. Some rare individuals grow to enormous sizes and can be up to 36 inches in length and over 100 pounds!

Range

This tortoise is found in the rainforests of South America. It ranges from southeastern Venezuela, Guyana, French Guiana, Brazil, and throughout the Amazon basin to eastern Colombia and Ecuador, northeastern Peru and northeastern Bolivia.

Population Status

The Yellow-Footed Tortoise is considered vulnerable to extinction. The largest threat to Yellow-Footed Tortoises is hunting by humans, as they are considered a delicacy in parts of South America. They are also endangered by habitat loss.

Predators

Humans are the Yellow-footed Tortoise’s biggest predator.

Back to the Top

Holly Bourbon
Curator of Large-Fish Exhibits/Diving Safety Officer

pressroom striped fish

As the curator of large-fish exhibits, Holly's day-to-day responsibilities include managing our staff of aquarists and making sure that all of the animals under our care are doing well! Learn More

A Note From the Caretaker

Tortoises are very personable and are able to recognize their keepers. Our adult female loves to have her neck scratched. Here at the Aquarium, the yellow-footed tortoise’s favorite food is papaya and mango.

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore

The National Aquarium offers a three-hour showcase of more than 17,000 animals, including birds, frogs, sharks, dolphins and jellies.

Visit Us

Receive our Newsletter

You'll find:

  • animal updates
  • latest news
  • special offers