Radiated Tortoise (Astrochelys Radiata)

Conservation status

IUCN: Red List: Critically Endangered

Key Descriptions

“The world’s most beautiful tortoise” is a nickname which has followed the Radiated Tortoise since its discovery on the island of Madagascar. Predominantly yellow in appearance with elephantine feet & a blunt head, the Radiated Tortoise earns its name from the finely detailed “star shaped pattern” which radiates of its dome shaped carapace. Due to the elegant nature of these animals, they fetch a high price for animal smugglers & poachers looking to churn a profit. Locals have additionally been known to gift Radiated Tortoise as wedding presents while others have adopted them as pets from the wild.


These reptiles are primarily herbivores, normally found grazing on grass, low lying plants & fruit in the Southern areas of Madagascar, all the while preferring to live solitary, peaceful lives in a habitat devoid of predators such as dry regions of brush, spiky thorn forests as well as woodland areas which additionally serve as a means of shelter & protection.

Social Life

The species drinks gallons of water to avoid long periods of dehydration. In fact, according to a particular study, the Radiated tortoise shows aggregation behavior during the wet season at discrete sites. The study suggests that the species has an underlying knowledge of certain sites where water is plenty. During such a period the tortoise drinks a lot of water which it stores within its body. This adaptation allows it to withstand the hottest temperatures of the year and go without water for long periods. The Radiated Tortoise is a solitary traveler but during the wet season, it comes together for mating and uptake of large amounts of water.

Fun Facts


Fruits & Vegetables

Key Information

Origin:Madagascar & S.America
Size:Up to 41cm
Weight:Up to 16kg
LifespanUp to 50years

Leave a Reply