Galapagos tortoises back on display at Memphis Zoo

Galapagos tortoises back on display at Memphis Zoo

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Zoo has three Galapagos tortoises on exhibit for the first time in 30 years.

The three tortoises, who are brothers, arrived by way of the Oklahoma City Zoo.

"After a 30-year hiatus, Galapagos tortoises have returned to Memphis Zoo," Dr. Steve Reichling, area curator, said in a release. "We've been without this iconic species until just recently, when these three young brothers joined us. We're very excited to continue our work with this dramatic species."

Galapagos tortoises are some of the largest and longest-living tortoises in the world, weighing up to 500 pounds and having a body span of four feet or more.

"Galapagos tortoises don't have solid shells," Reichling said. "Their shells are actually made up of small, honeycombed structures that are filled with miniscule air chambers. This distributes the weight of the shell evenly on the back of the individual."

The tortoises front feet are turned inward, meaning they never walk in a straight line. In fact, it takes a Galapagos tortoise six hours to walk a single mile.

The Galapagos tortoises are currently on exhibit in the tortoise yards across from the Dragon's Lair and the Herpetarium.

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