Desert tortoises live in extremely hot environments, where temperatures can exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit. They dig burrows to help shield them from the sun and the heat, and spend almost all of their time in their hollowed-out homes.
In the fall and winter months, tortoises will stay protected in their burrows in a dormant, hibernation-like state while the outside temperatures can get below freezing.
Other animals, including species of birds, reptiles, mammals, and even invertebrates can cohabitate a tortoise’s burrows. Rattlesnakes, quails, burrowing owls, beetles, spiders, scorpions, and squirrels are all known to share burrows with desert tortoises.
The desert tortoise is a plant eater, and is preyed upon by many animals, including ravens, badgers, coyotes and more.