The desert tortoise is well adapted to life in the desert. There are many plants in the desert which the desert tortoise eats: cactus, annual forbs, grasses, and wildflowers. In the spring (from March to June) they forage; they are building up stores of fat and water for the rest of the year.
Desert tortoises live in burrows which they dig to escape summer heat and winter cold. When it gets very hot in the summer they estivate in these underground burrows. In the fall, when it is cooler, the desert tortoise will again emerge and eat dried grasses and drink after a thunderstorm.
When there is no water available they are able to absorb the water from their bladders. Watch out, you do not want to approach a desert tortoise too closely; when frightened, they may release their bladder and lose this vital water supply.
In the winter (October to March) they return to their burrows to hibernate. Some burrows have been passed down through generations of tortoises.