yellow-footed tortoise

Yellow-footed Tortoise

Chelonoidis denticulata

CLASS Reptilia | ORDER Testudines | FAMILY Testudinidae

RANGE South America, from Venezuela to Bolivia

HABITAT Tropical and subtropical wet forests

DIET Vegetation, fungi, leaves, flowers, fruit; although mainly herbivorous, it will take carrion when available

25 - 35 lbs

Male Carapace
15 - 16 in

Female Carapace
24 - 30 in

125 - 150 days

Avg. 1 - 8 eggs

IUCN Status
Not Listed

The yellow-footed tortoise is named for the yellow-orange scales on their front legs. It is the largest of three species of mainland tortoises found in South America. This species reaches the age of maturity at about 8-10 years.

A tortoise shell is made of 60 different bones and all are connected to each other.


The biggest threat to this species is over-hunting by man for food. They are considered a delicacy by some cultures. They are also kept as pets throughout much of their range (primarily in rural areas), and their carapaces are also used for making musical instruments.

One of the greatest threats to this species is human encroachment into its habitat through logging, agriculture, and oil exploration.