giant tortoise


Definition of 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 In the 1960s, the giant tortoise population on Española, one of the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador, was reduced to just 15 individuals. Isabelle Gerretsen, CNN, "How captivity saved these animals from extinction," 17 Sep. 2020 The species found to have less than 1,000 individuals include the Sumatran rhino, the Clarión wren, the Española giant tortoise and the harlequin frog, reports Damian Carrington of the Guardian. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Already Unprecedented Rate of Wildlife Extinctions Is Accelerating," 3 June 2020 The Arctic had alligators, giant tortoises, and vegetation typical of Florida today, and sea levels were around 300 feet higher than now. Quanta Magazine, "Sudden Ancient Global Warming Event Traced to Magma Flood," 19 Mar. 2020 Miller studied a similar restoration effort with another species of giant tortoise from Floreana island. Molly Glick, Popular Science, "Did a high sex drive really save the giant tortoise from extinction?," 4 Feb. 2020 National Geographic Journey’s 10-day Galápagos Voyage includes a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, where several endemic species of giant tortoise live, and encounters with marine iguanas on Isla Fernandina. Jennifer Barger, National Geographic, "Trips of a lifetime: Secrets from our readers," 19 Dec. 2019 The famed Galapagos giant tortoise named Diego -- estimated at over 100 years old-- fathered 40 percent of all tortoises on Espanola Island in the Galapagos and is officially retiring. Fox News, "Diego the tortoise retires, high sex drive credited with helping to save his species in the Galapagos, conservancy says," 13 Jan. 2020 This huge Galápagos giant tortoise is hanging out by a home in the highlands of the Galápagos Islands. National Geographic, "Can the United States stop poaching at home?," 17 Oct. 2019 When the program began in 1965, the giant tortoise had just 14 individuals remaining, down from 2,400 adults before humans started hunting them. Molly Glick, Popular Science, "Did a high sex drive really save the giant tortoise from extinction?," 4 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'giant tortoise.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of giant tortoise

circa 1909, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about giant tortoise

Time Traveler for giant tortoise

Time Traveler

The first known use of giant tortoise was circa 1909

See more words from the same year

Statistics for giant tortoise

Last Updated

24 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Giant tortoise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for giant tortoise

giant tortoise


English Language Learners Definition of giant tortoise

: a large plant-eating tortoise

Comments on giant tortoise

What made you want to look up giant tortoise? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!