On 3 June 2015 at 1024 h, a team of U.S. Geological Survey scientists located an immature Gopherus agassizii (Agassiz’s desert tortoise) at Joshua Tree National Park, near the southern Cottonwood Canyon entrance. The habitat in the area is typical of the Sonoran Desert in that part of California with various trees and shrubs including Larrea tridentate (creosote bush), Parkinsonia florida (blue palo verde), Olneya tesota (ironwood), Fouquieria splendens (ocotillo) and Psorothamnus spinosus (smoketree), as well as numerous species of cacti, herbaceous plants and shrubs. The 89.4 mm in carapace length G. agassizii was estimated to be four years old by counting growth rings on the plastron, and weighed 160g. It was found basking on a flat spot on a north-facing, steep, rocky slope with a Ferocactus cylindraceus (California barrel cactus) spine impaling the G. agassizii under the right leg.
|Title||Gopherus Agassizii (Agassiz’s Desert Tortoise). Mechanical Injury|
|Authors||Amanda Smith, Laura A. Tennant, Jeffrey E. Lovich, Terence R. Arundel|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Herpetological Review|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Southwest Biological Science Center|