Solitary individual encountered while I was hiking. Desert Tortoises, a threatened species, are native to the Mojave Desert, not Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which falls in the lower elevation Colorado Desert. It is likely a descendant of captive tortoises released by authorities in this area circa 1970-1971. See https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1350&dat=19711220&id=rwswAAAAIBAJ&sjid=4gEEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7270%2C2961041&hl=en
A good reference for learning more about the natural history of Desert Tortoises is http://www.blm.gov/ca/pdfs/cdd_pdfs/dta.pdf.
This tortoise had been browsing wildflowers as can be seen in this image showing a stalk in its mouth.
Ungracefully getting down from the concrete toilet step. Clunk.
"Adolescent" desert tortoise crossing a dirt road. Carapace was about 6" in length. Based on the gular horn size, I'd surmise this is a female - (?)
Top shell of a burrowing tortoise, identified by a golf course worker as an American gopher turtle
Adult male found as shell only by Graham Criglow. GTS 1255. UTA-R 60244.
Tortoises (/ˈtɔːr.təs.ɪz/, Testudinidae) are a family of land-dwelling reptiles in the order Testudines. Like other turtles, tortoises are shielded from predators by a shell. The top part of the shell is the carapace, the underside is the plastron, and the two are connected by the bridge. The tortoise endoskeleton has the adaptation of having an external shell fused to the ribcage. Tortoises can vary in size from a few centimeters to two meters. They are usually...