Tortoise Attack

Return to an age when GIANT TORTOISES walked the earth!?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Giant tortoises can grow to be four feet long and weigh as much as a tiger! They can be found in the Seychelles and the Galápagos Islands. These monster tortoises eat over ten percent of the local vegetation, and live solely on plants! 

Or so we thought…

Cut to Frégate Island, part of the Seychelles! Located in the Western Indian Ocean, this island is home to about three thousand tortoises. While counting seabirds there in twenty-twenty, Anna Zora from Frégate Island Foundation and Justin Gerlach got quite a shock!

In a restored forest, they saw a giant tortoise attack a baby bird and pursue it along a log before chowing down. And they caught the whole scene on video! 

There have been rumors about tortoises attacking birds. But this is the first record of a wild tortoise actually hunting for food!

Talk about a horror film! Can’t wait for the sequel – Giant Tortoise Meets Godzilla! More vegan popcorn, please! 

Zora, A., & Gerlach, J. (2021). Giant tortoises hunt and consume birds. Current Biology, 31(16), R989–R990.