giant tortoise


: any of various large long-lived herbivorous land tortoises (genus Geochelone) formerly common on the islands of the western Indian Ocean and on the Galápagos Islands

Examples of giant tortoise in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Highlights include the Galápagos giant tortoise, marine iguana, and blue-footed booby. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 14 Feb. 2024 Both itineraries will also include visits to the Charles Darwin Research Station, the Fausto Llerena Breeding Centre, and the Tortoise Reserve El Chato to see giant tortoises and learn about ecological preservation in the islands. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, 14 Feb. 2024 According to Smithsonian, the animal, who appears on some of the island’s currency, has exceeded the species’ average life expectancy by more than 40 years — the Seychelles giant tortoise typically lives to 150 years. Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 24 Jan. 2024 The reptiles, believed to be Aldabra giant tortoises, were found in Ashclyst Forest in Devon county, the Devon and Cornwall Police said in a news release on Tuesday. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 17 Jan. 2024 The owner had an unusual pet—an 80-year-old, 4-foot-long giant tortoise named Jumby, who lived in a custom enclosure with a metal roof, a pond and a waterfall in the backyard. Robyn A. Friedman, WSJ, 26 Oct. 2023 One of the world's largest land tortoises, Aldabra giant tortoises are native to Aldabra Island in Seychelles, an island nation northeast of Madagascar, according to the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 17 Jan. 2024 The secret to this success is that—much like beavers, brown bears and elephants—giant tortoises are ecological architects. Syris Valentine, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Oct. 2023 The world’s oldest living land animal, Jonathan the Seychelles giant tortoise, celebrated his 191st birthday this week. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'giant tortoise.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1909, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of giant tortoise was circa 1909

Dictionary Entries Near giant tortoise

Cite this Entry

“Giant tortoise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

giant tortoise

: any of various large plant-eating tortoises of the Galapagos Islands and islands of the western Indian Ocean
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