Yellow Foot Tortoise

Alternative Name
Yellowfoot Tortoise, Yellow-foot Tortoise, South American Yellow Footed Tortoise Scientific Name: Chelonoidis denticulata

Basic Info

A moderately sized tortoise, the Yellow Foot Tortoise averages around 16 inches for males and between 24 and 30 inches for females. They have a very thick, heavy shell. They have brown limbs and head, with some yellow or orangish scales.


When weather permits, Yellow Foot Tortoises should be kept outside to graze and exercise. They enjoy digging and because they will try to escape any barrier they can see through, a solid wall that extends at least a foot under the ground is the best barrier. The outdoor enclosure needs plenty of shade. Breeding Yellow Foot Tortoises breed throughout the year. The males can be distinguished from the females by the quick, sideways motion they make with their heads to challenge other males during mating season. The two males will try to knock each other on their backs, and whoever knocks the other over first is the victor and gets to mate with the female. The larger male is usually the winner. The female lays a clutch of between four and eight long, white, fragile eggs in a hole. She then buries the eggs, which hatch into self-sufficient hatchling tortoises. Juvenile tortoises should be fed more often than adults should.

Yellow Foot Tortoise

They are especially common in the dense rainforests and tropical lowlands of Surinam.


The Yellow Foot Tortoise is a moderately sized terrestrial tortoise that can be easy to care for, especially for those who can house it outdoors in tropical climates. The Yellow Foot Tortoise is very closely related to the Red-Footed Tortoise, which lives in the same dense undergrowth. The Yellow Foot Tortoise is diurnal, meaning that it is most active during the day. Inspite of this it is usually very difficult to find in the wild because they prefer to live in the dense undergrowth of the South American forests and rarely venture into clearings or onto wide paths. They feed on grasses, plants, fruit, and carrion in their natural environment. One of the favorite foods of the Yellow Foot Tortoise is the wild plum that is common in South America. In captivity, they are fed a 95% vegetarian diet consisting of fruit such as oranges, apples and greens such as kale, endives and collard. It should be noted that males will challenge other males by bobbing their heads at each other and this should be kept in mind when purchasing this tortoise.




The Yellow Foot Tortoise is native to humid regions of South America. They are especially common in the dense rainforests and tropical lowlands of Surinam.

Common Foods

Tortoises should be fed a variety of vegetables including carrots, spinach, collard greens, kale, endives, and some fruits. Fruits should make up about 15-20% of the diet. They can also be fed hard-boiled eggs and alfalfa pellets.

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