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The Most Complete Guide of Ecuador

Giant tortoise eggs start hatching

If you visit Galapagos this december, keep in mind that it´s the season when giant tortoise eggs start hatching. And will continue to hatch up until April. 

Did you know : That giant tortoises start off very small and then grow up to become one of the largest reptiles alive? 

During nesting season giant tortoises embark on a great journey. the gigantic creatures make their way from the highlands to territories far away in the lowlands in order to find suitable spot to lay their eggs.

Once they have found the ideal spot, they start digging a hole with their hind legs so that they can keep their eggs can be incubated and safe. Once the eggs are inside, and the hole is covered up with sand and a bit of urine, a plug of mud is created to cover up and seal the eggs. The mother tortoise leaves, never meeting its offspring. 

Four to eight months later, the eggs will start hatching, but they won´t make it up to the surface just yet. It takes about a month for the tiny tortoises get out of their underground home. As they emerge, they are no bigger than 6 cm and they weigh around 80 g, which is impressive considering that they will grow up to weigh around 220 kg. 

When these tiny tortoises stumble out ready to meet the world, they are vulnerable to introduced prefators. Years and years ago, they didn´t use to have any threats but there are animals introduced to the island (by humans who settled here) and began to attack these small creatures. 

One of the best places to observe several hatchings is the Darwin Station Center at Santa Cruz Island. If you´re visiting San Cristobal then don´t forget to visit Cerro Colorado Breeding Center. 

The Galapagos Islands are famous for their giant tortoises and witnessing these creatures before they turn into giants is a magical experience you can´t miss! 

 

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