Texas Tortoise
Gopherus berlandieri
The Texas Tortoise (Gopherus berlandieri) is a resident of deep south Texas; its range extends well into eastern Mexico as well. Texas Tortoises are in the gopher tortoise family and occasionally excavate burrows in sandy soil and dig out resting spots under desert vegetation. They are active by day except in cool times of the year when they may hibernate or become dormant during the coldest weather. The animal shown at right was photographed in April, 2000, in Kenedy Co., Texas with a Canon EOS 3 and EF 70-200 F/2.8 L lens. The next shot was taken in Starr Co., Texas, in August, 1995, with a Canon T-90 and 400mm F/5.6 lens on Fuji Sensia.
The pattern of the shell of this species can be interesting. This shot was taken of a live tortoise which I found crossing a sandy ranch road in Kenedy Co., Texas, in 2002.
The shot at right shows a Texas Tortoise walking in the sand in Hidalgo Co., Texas, in June, 2006. The image was taken with a Canon EOS 1 D Mark II and EF 70-200mm F/2.8 L IS lens.