Left: We watched two male desert tortoises (gopherus agassizii) fight for over two hours. The fighting (presumably over territory) involved bobbing of heads (top photo) and then the two tortoises charging and slamming into each other. They repeatedly attempted to flip each other over by interlocking their shells and plastrons (bottom photo).


Ultimately, the tortoise on the right side of the photos flipped the other tortoise onto its back. For about 15 minutes the “victor” nipped at the appendages of the “loser”. The “victor” then flipped the upside down tortoise back over and chased it at a tortoise “run” for about 100 yards before ending the aggression! (see more photos of the fight by using the link to the right)

Tortoise Fight

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