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thumbnail Volcán Alcedo giant tortoise, Isabela Island
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Volcán Alcedo giant tortoise, Isabela Island © Tui De Roy/Minden Pictures
The Volcán Alcedo giant tortoise is one of the 49 species of tortoises known for their dome-shaped shells. They are found on Isabela Island in the Galápagos archipelago. The tortoises get their name from the volcano that dominates Isabela, these herbivores thrive in the lush highland regions where they graze on a variety of vegetation like fruits, leaves and grass. They showcase distinctive breeding behaviours as the males make guttural sounds to attract females and compete with each other using various techniques like biting and raising their head higher than the other. Nesting occurs on the volcanic slopes during the months of May and June, where females deposit their eggs in soft soil.