Malagasy Pride

Endrehina, Mahafinaritra, Manga, Soa! These are all Malagasy terms that translate to “beautiful”, “excellent”, “good”; which is fitting considering its in relation to our new Radiated Tortoise! Considered one of the world’s most beautiful tortoises, these magnificent creatures can grow up to 16 inches in length and weigh up to 35 pounds!

What makes him one of the most beautiful tortoises? Just LOOK at them!!! Their carapace is brilliantly marked with yellow lines radiating from the middle of each dark plate of the shell and their “star” pattern is far more intricate than their fellow star-patterned tortoise species. Not only are their carapaces more attractive than most, but they also FEEL smooth unlike the bumpy, pyramidal shape commonly seen in other species.

So what’s with the Malagasy terms at the beginning? Well, Malagasy is the language spoken in Madagascar; the home of the Radiated Tortoise. Although they have also been introduced to the nearby island of Reunion, they occur naturally only in the extreme southern and southwestern part of Madagascar, preferring dryer regions of brush, thorn forests and woodlands.

Much like most tortoises, these guys are herbivores. However, just because they enjoy primarily grasses, fruit and succulent plants, they LOVE to snack on Opunita Cacti! Yummy! Now THAT’S a healthy diet that’ll last them their expected life span of 40- 50 years! They’re no Sulcata tortoise when it comes to size and age but they sure do take the cake with Worlds most beautiful tortoise! Stop by The Reptile Zoo and say hello to our new buddy, he’s conveniently caged right next door to the Blue Taiwanese Beauty snake!



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