Sonoran desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii, are some of the most amazing and interesting reptiles out in the desert.

They come in a variety of colors and sizes, ranging anywhere from a grayish brown to completely black. A tortoise’s shell can come to grow up to 15 inches in length! Male and female tortoises have some noticeable differences between them. Males have a concave belly, the male’s tails are longer, and their gular scutes, which are horns on their shell right underneath their neck, are much more pronounced, among a few other differences. The gular scutes are used for protection as well as for fighting other males for courtship.

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