Radiated tortoise

Radiated tortoise Astrochelys radiata (ESB)

ClassReptilia
OrderTestudinae
FamilyTestudinidae
Sizeup to 45cm
Weight15kg
Incubation52–70 days
Eggs3–12
Life-span100 years
Diet
herbivorous

Habitat
grasslands

Range
south and south-west Madagascar


These tortoises are named for the intricate star patterns on their dark shells, consisting of bright yellow lines radiating from the centre of each plate. Endemic to Madagascar, they are highly endangered by the loss of their natural habitat and by being hunted for the illegal animal trade and for their meat. They are one of the most beautiful tortoises in the world.
 
Active even in the dry season, they hide at night and go looking for food in the morning, before it gets very hot. Females can lay 1–5 eggs several times a year. The species is slow to mature sexually, with individuals only able to breed from the age of 20 years.




Status in the wild (Source: IUCN)

  • Not evaluated
    NE
  • Data deficient
    DD
  • Least concern
    LC
  • Near threatened
    NT
  • Vulnerable
    VU
  • Endangered
    EN
  •  Critically endangered
    CR
  • Extinct in the wild
    EW
  • Extinct
    EX

In the zoo