Radiated tortoise from Madagascar, Africa

Radiated tortoise

With brilliant yellow lines radiating from the centre of each shell plate, radiated tortoises are definitely one of the world's most beautiful tortoises. Their breeding season can be quite a noisy affair as rival males try their best to roll each other over and out of action. The winner gets to mate with a female, after he has checked her out by sniffing her rear, no less. Radiated tortoises occur naturally only in the extreme southern dry thorn and tropical forests of Madagascar. Critically endangered, they are under pressure from habitat loss, poaching for food and exploitation in the pet trade.

Scientific name: Astrochelys radiata

Rank: Species

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The Radiated tortoise can be found in a number of locations including: Madagascar. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Radiated tortoise distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Tropical dry forest Tropical dry forest
Tropical dry forests, in contrast to rainforest, have to survive a long dry season each year, so the predominantly deciduous trees shed their leaves to cope with it. Sunlight can then reach the ground, so the season that's bad for the trees is good for the forest floor.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Critically Endangered

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

Video collections

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  • David Attenborough's Madagascar David Attenborough's Madagascar

    Like nowhere else on Earth, the mystery and magic of Madagascar leaves a vivid impression on all those who visit, and none more so than David Attenborough.