The Giant Tortoise practices internal fertilization. Between the months of January and August, the male begins sniffing the air for a female's scent. After he has found a female, he chases her down and begins courtship with intimidation. He rams her with the front of his shell and nips at her exposed legs until she draws them in, immobilizing her. He then mates with her. Nesting occurs at different times, but usually between June and December. The female travels to dry sunny lowlands where the eggs receive adequate warmth for incubation. She lays an average of 10 eggs in a nest, which she buries under the surface with her strong back legs. Incubation time for different clutches ranges from three to eight months, the longer periods most likely having a relation to cooler weather. When the eggs hatch, the baby tortoises are forced to fend for themselves. Most die in the first ten years of life.