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.
AFTER EMERGENCE FROM HIBERNATION IN MARCH
BEGINNING OF HIBERNATION IN OCTOBER.
MOST MATING ACTIVITY IS IN THE
||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.|
||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.|
||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.|
|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.|
||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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