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Giant tortoises are one of those things you see on TV but never really expect to see for yourself in real life. I was lucky enough to head out to the Galápagos to see them in their natural habitat. Nearly all the tourists to these islands will probably just see the tortoises in the Charles Darwin institute or one of the semi-wild displays. I’m cheap and stubborn, so I wanted to find one for myself in the wild. So after asking where some good locations were, I set off up the road out of Puerto Ayora on what turns out is quite an easy quest for giants…

The giant Galápagos land tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra) is the largest living species of chelonian (tortoises and turtles). There is variation in the sizes of the different species of Galápagos tortoises (with some controversy over how many different species there are) but the larger species range from 272-317 kg for males and from 136-181 kg in females.