Desert Tortoise pictures (Gopherus agassizii). These tortoises are endangered.
Populations of desert tortoises have decreased by 90% since the 1980s, thanks to human expansion into their habitat--the desert. The government has listed the species as threatened.
Desert tortoises dig basins into the soil. When it rains, the tortoise returns to the basin to drink the water that collects.
The desert tortoise spends 9% of its life hidden in burrows. These underground retreats help protect the tortoise from the heat in the summer while staying warm in the winter.