Common Name: Yellowfoot Tortoise
Scientific Name: Geochelone Denticulata
Current Size: 5-8" range
Average Adult Size: 14-18"
Area of Origin: Northern South America
Description: Gray shell color, usually with drab yellow spots in the centers of each scute of their shell, which are present from hatching (the black color grows in with age). The skin is gray, generally with yellow spots on the front and rear legs. Head color is generally black skin with yellow scales on the head. We consider them "watermelon" shaped; somewhat elongated and rounded, no matter which angle you're looking at them from. They are occasionally confused with redfoot tortoises by some dealers, and in extremes of either species, they can look very similar. The scalation on the head is probably the easiest way to determine the differences, as the yellowfoots will have two long scales on top of their noses, where redfoots are comparatively smaller.
Habitat: Naturally these tortoises exist in a shaded jungle habitat, almost all with moderate to high humidity and moderate temperatures. They have a strong preference for water, and are usually found in close proximity to it. They need humidity in captivity do do well, and babies in particular should be kept humid to ensure proper smooth growth. They do not hibernate, but will go through a winter slow down period during cooler weather and shortened daylengths. This winter slowdown is not really natural for them, but they are tolerant of it in captivity. As adults, they can safely handle body temperatures as low as 50 degrees at night as long as they are able to heat up into the 70's during the day. Summer highs up to 95 degrees can be tolerated as long as there is a cooler, shaded retreat the tortoise can get into. Moisture is not a problem in warmer temperatures (a cool mud hole on a hot day), but in cooler weather and on cold nights, the tortoises should be kept dry.
Diet: This tortoise is naturally a browser, and will wander about munching on broadleaf plants and fallen fruit the majority of its natural life. They are known to eat meat in the wild, seen eating dead animals, worms and snails. In captivity, yellowfoot tortoises will eat almost anything well, such as leafy weeds and clover (dandelions are a favorite), fruit, vegetables and they love Mazuri tortoise diet.
Adult Behavior: Adult yellowfoot tortoises are quite variable in their personalities. Captive bred yellows tend to be much more personable and interactive than wild caught specimens. Over time, WC yellowfoots will usually come around, but it can often take years for them to settle in. They are usually unaggressive towards eachother and can usually be kept long term in mixed-sex groups. They are not damaging to their environment, rarely digging holes or burrows. Most yellowfoots will eagerly come to their keepers looking for food once they are comfortable in their environments.
Our Current Care: These tortoises are currently kept outdoors in Las Vegas Nevada. We house them under 80% shade cloth and briefly hit them with sprinklers 4 times a day to keep them cool and humid. They have access to a 1" deep water dish and are eating almost everything from leafy greens to Mazuri to ZooMed gourmet tortoise food. These tortoises were originally wild caught and were imported in early 2015.