Southern portion of the island of Madagascar.
Dry regions of brush, thorn bushes and woodlands.
They are the largest of the starred tortoises. Their shell is high domed with abruptly descending sides. Carapace is dark brown or black. The vertebrals and pleurals have yellow or orange areolae from which extend 4-12 yellow or orange radiating stripes. Each marginal has 1-5 yellow or orange radiations beginning from a light spot at the lower center of the scute and extending upward toward the pleurals. The light stripes may fade with age, but most of the individuals are strikingly marked. The plastron is yellow with a large black triangle at the outer edge of the humerals, pectorals, abdominals, and femorals. Head is moderate in size; snout nonprotruding with a slightly hooked upper jaw. Head is usually yellow with a darkened area on the dorsal surface. Limbs and tail yellow.
Habits of the Radiated Tortoise are essentially the same as those of other land tortoises. They are diurnal, like warmth, drink a lot whenever they get the opportunity, though when forced to abstain they hold out well. During the hot season when the vegetation is parched and dry, they dig hole in the ground and take refuge in it as a way of avoiding dehydration and the excessive heat.
Incubation period of 145-230 days. Eggs are almost spherical with brittle shells. 3-12 eggs per clutch. Hatchlings are brightly marked with flattened, rounded carapices.
|Did YOU Know?|
|The radiated tortoise is one of the rarest tortoises in the world.|
|Weight:||Up to 35 pounds|
|Wild Diet:||Grasses, cactus and shrubs.|
|This is an SSP animal|
|USFWS Status:||Not Listed|
|CITES Status:||Not Listed|
|Where at the Zoo?||Small Animal Building: Tropics Zone|