Life Cycle

Life Cycle: They find a mate there is no certain way or call to find each other. If another male is in the area they fight over the female. The female stores the sperm and when shes ready she releases a clutch of 1-12 eggs from May to July, the offspring leave their parents from August to October. They leave usually 1-12 eggs. They do not care for their young. As soon as they leave the egg, the parents are gone. The Desert Tortoise can live up to 100 years old.

MATING MAY OCCUR ANYTIME
AFTER EMERGENCE FROM HIBERNATION IN MARCH
UNTIL THE BEGINNING OF HIBERNATION IN OCTOBER.
MOST MATING ACTIVITY IS IN THE SPRING.
Desert  tortoise courtship
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Nesting  desert tortoise BETWEEN MAY AND JULY THE FEMALE USUALLY DIGS A NEST AT A BURROW ENTRANCE OR NEAR A SHRUB. SHE CAREFULLY DEPOSITS 1-14 EGGS. THE EGGS RESEMBLE PING-PONG BALLS.
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Desert  tortoises emerge from their eggs AFTER INCUBATING FOR 70 TO 120 DAYS, THE HATCHLINGS BREAK OUT OF THE SHELL USING AN EGG TOOTH. THE YOLK SAC PROVIDES NOURISHMENT EVEN AFTER HATCHING.
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Tortoise in  her burrow HATCHLINGS ARE ABOUT THE SIZE OF SILVER DOLLARS. THEIR SHELLS ARE SOFT AND COMPOSED MOSTLY OF SCUTES. FEMALE TORTOISES DO NOT PROVIDE CARE FOR THEIR YOUNG. ONLY 1 TO 5 OUT OF EVERY 100 HATCHLINGS WILL SURVIVE TO ADULTHOOD.
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Desert  tortoise eating filaree
GROWTH IS SLOW IN THE WILD. AS A TORTOISE GROWS, BONE DEVELOPS UNDER THE LAYER OF SCUTES. BY THE TIME THE TORTOISE IS 5 YEARS OLD THE BONE IS WELL DEVELOPED AND THE SHELL IS HARD. TORTOISES MAY LIVE TO BE 60 TO 100 YEARS OLD.
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Tortoise shell showing underlying bones THE TORTOISE SHELL HAS TWO LAYERS WITH A LAYER OF SCUTES OVER A LAYER OF BONE. IN THE WILD SEXUAL MATURITY IS REACHED BETWEEN 14-20 YEARS.
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Information and Media Sources:

http://www.tortoise-tracks.org/gopherus/lifecycle.html

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