The Gopher Tortoise is native to the southeastern United States. It is a major contributor to the environment because the burrows it digs for itself also provide shelter for 360 other animal species. Habitat destruction is threatening the Gopher Tortoise's existence. The Gopher Tortoise is a large terrestrial turtle with features that are common to most tortoises: the front legs have scales to protect it while digging, its front feet are well adapted for burrowing, and its hind feet are elephantine. The carapace of a Gopher Tortoise can range from 8 to 12 inches long and its body mass can weigh from 4.5 lbs to 13 lbs.
Exhibit: Flint River Gallery, Gopher Tortoise Exhibit