Some tortoises live different lifestyles. According to Biological Sciences, giant tortoises are slower and more sedentary due to their weight and size, while smaller tortoises are more mobile and active.
Tortoises reach their maximum size within 1-10 years, with 5 years being the average.
The sulcata is the largest pet tortoise, reaching 2-2 ½ feet and up to 100 pounds. Horsefield and Russian tortoises are 5-10 inches and 1.1 to 3 pounds, and Hermann’s reach 7 ½ inches and 7-8 pounds.
According to the Journal of Zoology, male tortoises are usually smaller than female tortoises.
The size of your tortoise varies based on how well it’s cared for, so those with lots of space, quality food, and optimal temperatures/humidity are more likely to reach their full growth potential.
Tortoise Size and Weight
The massive Galapagos tortoise can be over 4 feet long and weigh 660 pounds. Meanwhile, the tiny Egyptian tortoise can be 3 inches long and weigh 5 ounces.
The table below has information on pet tortoise species’ average size and weight at maturity:
|Tortoise Type||Average Size||Average Weight|
|Sulcata Tortoises||3–4 feet||80–100 pounds|
|Horsefield Tortoises||5–8 inches||1.1 pound|
|Russian Tortoises||8–10 inches||3 pounds|
|Red Foot Tortoises||10–18 inches||20–24 pounds|
|Hermann’s Tortoises||7.5 inches||7–8 pounds|
|Leopard Tortoises||10–18 inches||44 pounds|
|Testudo Tortoises||10–12 inches||12-13 pounds|
|Desert Tortoises||12–14 inches||8–15 pounds|
How Big Do Sulcata Tortoises Get?
After Aldabra and Galapagos tortoises, the sulcata tortoise is the world’s 3rd largest tortoise.
Many first-time owners buy 1 ½ to 2-inch-long baby tortoises, not realizing that it’s a sulcata until it grows into a large tortoise 5-10 years later.
On average, sulcata tortoises grow to be 2 ½ feet at maturity and weigh 80-100 pounds.
While a tortoise’s growth rate differs from one individual to another, most sulcatas take about 5-10 years to reach their maximum size and weight.
How Big Do Horsefield Tortoises Get?
Horsefield tortoises, or Russian tortoises, are small tortoises.
Males grow to 5-8 inches, while females reach about 6-10 inches at maturity. Horsefield hatchlings are small, at around 1-inch long.
Due to their diminutive size and lightweight shells, Horsefield tortoises are lightweight. On average, a mature Horsefield tortoise weighs around 500 grams or 1.1 pounds.
How Big Do Red-Footed Tortoises Get?
Red-footed tortoises are about 1 ½ to 2 inches long when they hatch.
They reach their full adult size in 5-10 years at 10-18 inches. A mature red-footed tortoise weighs roughly 24 pounds, so it’s a medium-sized tortoise.
How Big Do Hermann’s Tortoises Get?
Hermann’s tortoises have several sub-species, so their sizes will vary.
Hermann hatchlings are about 1 ½ to 2 inches long.
Despite reaching just 7.5 inches at maturity, Hermann’s are still slow growers. They take years to grow, reaching a weight of 7-9 pounds as mature adults.
How Big Do Leopard Tortoises Get?
The leopard tortoise is a fast-growing species starting at 1-2 inches long upon hatching. It’ll reach a near-adult size in under a year, provided that it receives proper care and enjoys a healthy lifestyle.
The rapid growth of a leopard tortoise is one of its main selling points because some owners are deterred by the many years it takes other species to reach their full size.
The adult size of an individual leopard tortoise may vary depending on the locale it hails from. The standard for leopard tortoises is 10-18 inches, although those from Ethiopia and Somalia can reach 30 inches in adulthood.
The standard-sized adult weighs around 44 pounds, but larger variations can weigh twice as much.
How Big Do Testudo Tortoises Get?
There are two testudo tortoises: the spur-thighed tortoise and the Greek tortoise. Although closely related, they’re different species.
Testudo Ibera, or the spur-thighed tortoise, is a medium-sized tortoise that reaches approximately 7-8 inches long at maturity. It weighs in at around 15 pounds.
Meanwhile, the testudo graeca, or Greek tortoise, is a smaller tortoise that reaches 5 to 6 inches at maturity and weighs around 13 pounds.
How Big Do Desert Tortoises Get?
Formally known as the Mojave desert tortoise, this is another medium-sized tortoise. It’s a species native to the region north and west of the Colorado River in the United States.
Desert tortoises grow to 9-15 inches long and weigh around 8-15 pounds at maturity. They’re medium-paced growers that reach their mature sizes at 15-20 years old.
What Tortoise Grows the Biggest?
Among the pet species, the sulcata tortoise is the largest kind.
It’s native to the Sahara desert and sits just behind the Galapagos and Aldabra giant tortoises as the biggest species. It can grow to 2 ½ feet in adulthood.
These giants grow quickly and usually reach maturity after 5-10 years. This means that owners must be prepared for this fast growth rate and prepare a large pen to explore.
A mature sulcata tortoise reaches an average weight of 80 pounds, but some can weigh over 100 pounds.
What Is the Largest Tortoise in the World?
The largest tortoise in the world was Goliath.
He was a Galapagos tortoise that measured 4.5 feet long. Goliath was only 42 years old when he died and measured 3 feet in width. He weighed 919 pounds, making him the heaviest tortoise ever recorded.
As for living record-holders, we can look to the Aldabra tortoise species living on Bird Island in the Seychelles archipelago. This male tortoise, Esmeralda, weighs over 670 pounds and is thought to be around 170 years old.
How Fast Do Tortoises Grow?
Tortoises are famed for being slow growers. For example, the Sulcata tortoise stops growing after 5-10 years but considering its large size, which is considered a fast pace.
Hermann’s tortoises are small-sized, growing to about 7.5 inches in adulthood. When compared to sulcata tortoises, they’re slow growers despite taking 5-10 years to reach their full growth potential.
Leopard tortoises are medium-sized and reach an average of 24 inches at maturity. They’re notoriously fast growers, taking less than 1 year to reach their near-adult size.
How Old Is A Tortoise When Fully Grown?
Some tortoise species take years to reach their adult sizes, while others take just a few years.
In a way comparable to other long-lived species, tortoises don’t take their entire lives to reach their full size. Instead, they reach their maximum length and weight during adolescence and stop growing.
For example, the sulcata tortoise takes about 10 years from hatching to reach its adult size. Given its 100+ year lifespan, this doesn’t account for much of its life.
Russian or horsefield tortoises may never grow beyond 1-3 pounds, while red-footed tortoises should reach 20-24 pounds to be healthy adults. You can expect upwards of 80 pounds from a sulcata tortoise.