Micke Grove Zoo

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Radiated Tortoise
Geochelone radiata

  • Habitat: Dry spiny forests
  • Range: South and south-western Madagascar
  • Natural Diet: Grasses and Opuntia, which is an invasive species in Madagascar
  • Status in the Wild: THREATENED



Wild radiated tortoises inhabit dry, arid environments where rain is scarce


Fun Facts

  • Radiated tortoises have unique star-shaped patterns on their shell with yellow centers and lines running from the center to the periphery. They are one of the most beautiful tortoises of the world.
  • Males have a longer, more distinct tails than females.
  • Females dig holes in the ground with their hind legs in which they lay eggs. Three clutches of eggs with up to 5 eggs per clutch are laid in the breeding season
  • The eggs are incubated for approximately 6 to 8 months
  • They have long life spans and can live to 90 years



They live in shrub lands and spiny forests in the south of Madagascar


Conservation Threats

Major threats to wild populations of this species are:

  • Habitat loss due to agricultural practices, livestock grazing, and  collection of wood.
  • Tortoises are also captured for the pet-trade and human consumption.


 Radiated tortoises are critically endangered and are endemic to Madagascar



Radiated tortoises enjoy having their backs scratched and are quite motivated to use these brushes when they are setup in their exhibit



Radiated tortoises' carapace has star shaped patterns that make it look beautiful





Map Distributional range - This species is endemic to Madagascar, the island in black to the right of Africa.