FAQs

You can purchase Mojave Max merchandise at the Elements Gift Store located in the visitor’s center of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and adjacent to Mojave Max’s habitat!

Open Daily
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m
1000 Scenic Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89124

Besides great Max items, the store has a huge selection of books, art, apparel, and other great gifts. All proceeds support public outreach programs at Red Rock Canyon. These efforts include special events, hikes, school groups, community groups, exhibits, signs, and publications.

For more information on purchasing Mojave Max products, contact:

Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area
(702) 515-5379

The Mojave Max Education Program is a collaborative effort among Clark County,  the Clark County School District, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Red Rock Canyon Interpretative Association.

This program provides in-class Mojave Max education presentations, teacher lesson plans, educational resources, Mojave Max school assemblies, and the Mojave Max Emergence Contest.

At the  Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

Habitat loss, collection & vandalism, and increased predation by ravens.

Warmer temperatures, longer days, and internal clock (instinct)

The Weather Influence:  Weather trends and conditions greatly influence species behavior.  Many wild plants and animals are more active in moderate temperatures, less active in very hot temperatures, and go into a state of sleep in very cold temperatures.

The weather also influences how humans behave.  Simple acts such as eating, sleeping, and getting dressed in the morning are affected by the weather.

Weather is also a very important component of the Mojave Max Emergence Contest.  Temperature, daylight, and biology are the three critical factors that determine when Mojave Max will first exit his burrow each year.

Nope!  They go through a similar process, called brumation.

60-80 years!

In common usage in the United States, the word turtle is an inclusive word that refers to all species of water turtle, sea turtle, box turtle, terrapin and tortoise. The word tortoise refers to a particular type of turtle that is well adapted to life on land.

Scientists group all turtles together in the “order” known as TESTUDINES. This order includes about a dozen living “families” of turtle. Tortoises are a specialized clade or subgroup of the order TESTUDINES that are known as the Testudinidae.

According to Dr. Kristin Berry, the following distinction is made between the terms turtle and tortoise in the US:

“A tortoise is a land dwelling turtle with high domed shell and columnar, elephant-shaped hind legs. Tortoises go to water only to drink or bathe. In contrast, the word turtle is used for other turtles: pond turtles, river turtles, box turtles, musk turtles, sea turtles, etc.

So, tortoises form a subgroup that can be distinguished from other groups of turtle, but they are “turtles” nonetheless.

Reprinted from CCT’s Turtle Trivia

 

Although people who keep pet turtles tend to use the collective term “herd” to refer to a group of turtles, the classic collective term is a “bale of turtles.”

Reprinted from CCT’s Turtle Trivia

While some prehistoric turtles had them, no modern turtles possess real teeth. Instead, all of the turtles alive today have very sharp beaks which they use to bite. Hatchlings emerge from their eggs using what is commonly known as the egg-tooth or caruncle. This is located at the front of the upper jaw and typically it disappears a few months after the turtle hatches. It is a modified scale and not a real tooth.

Reprinted from CCT’s Turtle Trivia

 

Turtles have a single rear vent that is referred to as a cloaca.  Feces, urine, and eggs all exit a turtle through this cloaca, so not surprisingly it is quite elastic and the opening can stretch considerably. In a small number of water turtles, the cloaca also possesses a pair of well-developed, vascularized sacs that lead off it called bursae.  These cloacal bursae are surrounded by the same thin membrane as the rest of the cloaca.  Gas exchange can occur across this membrane when a turtle is submerged and allow some oxygen to reach the blood.

In most species this makes a minor contribution to respiration. However, one species of turtle from Australia has taken this to extremes. The Fitzroy River turtle (Rheodytes leukops) can pump water in and out of its cloacal bursae such that it can obtain as much as two-thirds of its oxygen supply through this route. [Source: Aquatic respiration and diving in the freshwater turtle, Rheodytes leukops by Craig E. Franklin. Proc. Physiol. Soc.]

Reprinted from CCT’s Turtle Trivia

Chelonians are measured with calipers. One end of the caliper is placed at the edge of the carapace (upper shell) immediately above the head, and the other end is placed on the carapace edge above the tail. This is known as the straight line carapace length.

The famed giant tortoises that inhabit islands in the Galapagos Archipelago and Indian Ocean are the largest of the living land turtles. A male Galapagos tortoise, Geochelone nigra, from Isla Santa Cruz that has been captive-raised at the Life Fellowship Bird Sanctuary in Florida may well be the largest tortoise known. He weighed 356 kilograms (785 pounds) in 1988 and by 1996 was close to a stunning 400 kilograms (882 pounds). An Aldabra tortoise, Geochelone gigantea, living on Bird Island in the Seychelles is probably the world’s largest free-roaming tortoise weighing in at a hefty 305 kilograms (672 pounds). In contrast to these island giants, the largest mainland tortoise – the African spurred tortoise, Geochelone sulcata – reaches a mere 90 kilograms (200 pounds) or so.

Two rare Asian softshells vie for the title of largest freshwater turtle. A Pelochelys bibroni from southeast Asia measured 51 inches long and is estimated by Dr. Peter Pritchard to have weighed 400 pounds. The narrow-headed softshell Chitra indica, commonly reaches 36 inches and is rumored to reach as much as 72 inches. According to Pritchard’s Encyclopedia of Turtles the alligator snapping turtle, Macroclemys temminckii, is the USA’s largest freshwater turtle at 76 kilograms (167 pounds). Among the Pleurodire (sideneck) turtles, the largest is the South American Arrau, Podocnemis expansa. Females may reach 90 kilograms (200 pounds).

Update to the “largest freshwater turtle” with documentation:  The largest freshwater turtle recorded to date is the Yangtze Giant Softshell (Rafetus swinhoei) male in Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam. He was captured in 2011 to treat some wounds and was released later in the year.

Here is some of the data recorded for this turtle:
Total Length = 185 cm (73 inches)
Carapace Length = 125 cm (49 inches)
Carapace width = 99 cm (39 inches)
Tail length = 35 cm (14 inches)
Weight = 169 kg (373 lbs)

The largest of all living turtles is a sea turtle. At an impressive six feet in length (and possibly longer) with a weight of some 590 kilograms (1300 pounds) the leatherback sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, is the true turtle giant!

Reprinted from CCT’s Turtle Trivia

 

The largest desert tortoise recorded is a former pet tortoise from the Las Vegas Valley, affectionately named Monster. Monster came from a foreclosed home and was picked up by staff from the San Diego Zoo in 2011. At the time of his pick-up, Monster was over 17 inches long and weighed more than 26 pounds.

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Brought to you by the Clark County Desert Conservation Program and its partners.

Emergence Contest

The Mojave Max Emergence Contest starts November 1st! To enter the contest think about the month, day, hour and minute you think Mojave Max will emerge in the Spring.

Learn More