Scientific name : Gopherus polyphemus
Family : Testudinidae
Native to : South-Eastern United States
Interesting fact : It is the official reptile of Georgia and official tortoise of Florida.
Conservation status : Vulnerable
Many other animals depend on these tortoises that dig burrows and hence are called ‘keystone’ species. Their forefeet are scaled to adapt to this lifestyle. The gopher tortoise is a vegetarian often feeding on grass, herbs, legumes, fruits, berries, mushrooms and other plants. They spend most of their time in long burrows and live for over 40 years.