Gopher Tortoise

Gopherus polyphemus
Gopher Tortoise
Gopher tortoises are one of the few species of tortoise that dig burrows. These burrows can be up to ten feet deep and 40 feet long, and are as wide as the length of the tortoise that made it. In addition to providing the tortoise a home, the burrows are also used by a range of other species including the indigo snake, Florida mouse, gopher frog and burrowing owl.

Facts About Gopher Tortoise

The gopher tortoise is seen as a keystone species because it digs burrows that provide shelter for 360 other animal species.

The gopher tortoise is the only tortoise that naturally ranges east of the Mississippi River.

The gopher tortoise is the state reptile of Georgia and the state tortoise of Florida.