Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Losing Giants: Seafarers visiting the remote island homes of giant tortoises inadvertently left trouble behind. Goats they released to feed future voyagers overgrazed the vegetation, leaving tortoises little to eat. Introducing pigs, and rats that jumped ship, destroyed tortoise nests and ate hatchlings. By 1850, few giant tortoises species survived.
Natural Diet: Primarily grasses and other vegetation occasional carrion (dead animals).
Reproduction: Female digs shallow nest to lay four to 15 eggs. Male makes a deep groaning mating call: listen for it!
Status: Wild population is around 150,000.
Weight: Up to 180 kg (400 lb)
Range: Aldabra atoll, and the Seychelle Islands (introduced) of the Indian Oceans
Habitat Grassland, scrub, and mangrove swamps
Erected by Smithsonian Institution.
Location. 38° 55.793′ N, 77° 2.862′ W. Marker is in Smithsonian National Zoo, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Olmsted Walk. Touch for map. On the grounds of the Smithsonian National Zoological Garden. Marker is at or near this postal address: 95 Olmsted Walk, Washington DC 20008, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. The O-Line (within shouting distance of this marker); Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (within shouting distance of this marker); The Book That Brought a Dinosaur to Life (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Hollywood Legend at the Zoo? (about 400 feet away); How to Drink Coffee and Save Birds (about 500 feet away); A Capital Bird (about 500 feet away); Prairie Dogs (about 500 feet away); Rebuilding in the Wild (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Smithsonian National Zoo.
Categories. • Animals •
Credits. This page was last revised on December 28, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 17, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 64 times since then. Photos: 1. submitted on December 17, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. 2. submitted on December 20, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. 3. submitted on December 17, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.