Pictures of Desert Tortoise Eggs and Hatchlings

Thanks to the Smithsonian Institution for letting me take these pictures at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center, Las Vegas, Nevada!

X-ray X-ray

X-rays of two female desert tortoises prior to laying eggs


Female Laying Egg Female Laying Eggs

A female desert tortoise laying eggs


Desert Tortoise Eggs

Desert tortoise eggs


Desert Tortoise Nest

A nest of eggs from an excavated burrow


A Desert Tortoise Beginning to Hatch

A desert tortoise beginning to hatch


A Desert Tortoise Hatchling

A desert tortoise hatchling


Desert Tortoise Hatchlings

Desert tortoise hatchlings



The following pictures are of partially developed embryos. Their development stopped for unknown reasons. These pictures were taken in November 1998, a month after the last hatchling emerged from its egg. For this reason, the yolks appear discolored.


Embryo that stopped developing

Embryo that stopped developing

Embryo that stopped developing

Embryo that stopped developing


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Last updated June 27, 1999 by Rebecca Holte