The desert tortoises are species of tortoise native to the Mojave desert and Sonoran desert of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico and the Sinaloan thornscrub of northwestern Mexico.
The desert tortoises live approximately 30 to 50 years; they grow slowly and generally have low reproductive rates. They spend most of time in burrows, rock shelters, and pallets to regulate body temperature and reduce water loss. They are most active after seasonal rains and are inactive during most of the year. This inactivity helps reducing water loss during hot periods, whereas winter hibernation facilitates survival during freezing temperatures and low food availability. Desert tortoises can tolerate water, salt, and energy imbalances on a daily basis, which increases their lifespan.