Giant Family for a Giant Tortoise

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

Giant Family for a Giant Tortoise

April 3, 2020

Living for 80 years sounds like a long time to us humans. But this 80-year-old Galapagos tortoise is only halfway through life – and just had babies for the first time! Nigrita hatched 9 mini tortoises, which hatched from eggs like any reptile. Galapagos tortoises can live to 150 years old. It’s the largest tortoise: it can weigh more than 900 pounds! By the way, what’s the difference between a tortoise and a turtle? They’re both reptiles, so they both breathe air and lay eggs. But turtles spend most of their time in the water, while tortoises live on dry land…for a very, very long time.

Wee ones: If you’ve counted 5 of the baby tortoises, what numbers do you say to count the next two babies?

Little kids: If you have 1 pet tortoise, 2 pet turtles and a pet snake, how many pet reptiles do you have?  Bonus: How many legs do they have all together? Count up to figure it out!

Big kids: If Nigrita hatches 9 babies this year, 6 babies next year, 10 the year after that, then 7 the year after that…what number would she hatch next to keep the pattern? Bonus: Who weighs more, 9 baby tortoises who’ve grown to 80 pounds each, or their 700-pound mom?




Wee ones: 6 and 7.

Little kids: 4 pet reptiles.  Bonus: 12 legs, since the snake doesn’t have any!

Big kids: 11 babies. You’re zigzagging between 9, 10, 11… and 6, 7, 8…  Bonus: The 9 baby tortoises, since they weigh 720 pounds together.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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