This reptile is native to dry thorn forests and tropical woodlands in southern Madagascar.
The radiated tortoise is a herbivore that spends 90% of its time grazing, eating leaves, grasses, flowers, fruit and cacti. Much of their diet is also made up of dead leaves.
During mating season, male tortoises will fight each other, and attempt to roll one another onto their backs. The species is very long-lived - the oldest radiated tortoise ever recorded died at an estimated age of 188!
During mating season, male tortoises will fight each other, and attempt to roll one another onto their backs. Females lay from 3 to 12 eggs in a previously excavated hole 6-8 in (15–20 cm) deep, and then depart. Incubation lasts up to 9 months, before the juveniles hatch.
Like all species from Madagascar, the radiated tortoise is under threat due to habitat destruction. The species is also exploited for food purposes and is currently listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
- Latin Name: Astrochelys radiata
- Class: Reptiles
- Order: Testudines
- Family: Testudinidae
- Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
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