Project Description

Radiated Tortoise

Geochelone radiata

Animal Class: Reptiles

Length: up to 16 inches

Weight: up to 35 pounds

Lifespan: may live as long as 40 to 50 years

Diet: Wild: The radiated tortoise is a grazing herbivore. They feed during the day primarily on grasses, fruit and succulent plants, which form 80 to 90 percent of their diet.

Habitat: Occur naturally only in the extreme southern and southwestern part of the island of Madagascar. They have also been introduced to the nearby island of Reunion. They prefer dry regions of brush, thorn (Diderae) forests and woodlands of southern Madagascar

The radiated tortoise is considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful tortoises. This tortoise has the basic “tortoise” body shape, which consists of the high-domed carapace, a blunt head, and elephantine feet. The legs, feet, and head are yellow except for a variably sized black patch on top of the head. The carapace of the radiated tortoise is brilliantly marked with yellow lines radiating from the center of each dark plate of the shell, hence its name. This “star” pattern is more finely detailed and intricate than the normal pattern of other star-patterned tortoise species.

Conservation status: Critically Endangered