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Yellow-footed tortoise

Chelonoidis denticulata

The Yellow-footed tortoise is also called the Yellow-foot or Yellow-legged tortoise, the Brazilian giant tortoise, or South American forest tortoise, as well as local names such as morrocoy, woyamou or wayamo.


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Habitat & threats

They are found in drier forest areas, grasslands, and the savannah, or rainforest belts adjoining more open habitats. As with many other turtles and tortoises, they are often hunted for food.



In the wild their diets consist of grasses, fallen fruit, carrion, plants, bones, mushrooms, excrement, and slow-moving invertebrates such as snails, worms, and others they are able to capture.


Breeding and social dynamics

As with most tortoise species they are solitary and come together to mate. Male tortoises are known to swing their heads back and forth in a continuous rhythm as a mating ritual, they will also battle with each other to win a female.   There is no parental care from either parent once the female lays her 6-12 eggs in a shallow nest in the ground. When the young hatch the baby tortoises will fend for themselves, starting by eating calcium-rich plant matter.



This species is protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, Appendix II.