Micke Grove Zoo

SJGOV.org - How can we serve you today?

Visit S.J. County Parks & Recreation Website

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


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


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 live in dry and arid habitats 


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

(Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)


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