CZAAWE Resource Article

Comparative study on the growth of juvenile Galapagos giant tortoises (Geochelone nigra) at the Charles Darwin Research Station (Galapagos Islands, Ecuador) and Zoo Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland)
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Zoo Biology
Abstract 10.1002/zoo.10130.abs In this study, the growth rates of a group of Galapagos giant tortoises raised in their natural habitat at the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS; Galapagos Islands, Ecuador) and a group of captive-bred specimens (Zoo Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland) were compared for the first time. A great discrepancy in growth rates was observed after the first year. When the animals were 4 years old, the carapace in the Zurich specimens was approximately twice as long as that in the CDRS tortoises, and the Zurich animals weighed approximately 10 times more than the CDRS animals. The zoo diet was modified by a reduction in nutrients and an increase in fiber to produce a more natural growth rate. Zoo Biol 23:177-183, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.