Soda's Tortoise Garden


The Radiated tortoise of Madagascar is one of the most attractive and arguably the most sought-after tortoise species of all. They are classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN and listed on CITES Appendix I, mainly because of the destruction of their habitat and poaching. They can grow up to 16 inches in length and weigh up to 35 pounds. They are a very long-lived species with recorded lifespans of at least 188 years.

They are also the largest of the species that have a star or radiating pattern on their carapace. Top of mind, based on experience and past research, here are the other "starred" species in the world: Indian Star (Geochelone elegans), Burmese Star (Geochelone platynota), Spider (Pyxis arachnoides), Flat-backed Spider (Pyxis planicauda), Pancake (Malacochersus tornieri), Geometric (Psammobates geometricus) and Tent tortoises (Psammobates tentorius).

Scroll below for photos of our Radiated tortoise breeders and juvies!


Beautiful Day in Soda's Tortoise Garden

Here are a few photos of Soda, doing his favorite pose. Also shown below are our other Radiated tortoises, Rootbeer, and Champagne, a true super high-yellow Radiated tortoise.

Soda's Tortoise Garden - Radiated Tortoises

Soda's Tortoise Garden - Radiated Tortoises

High Yellow Radiated Tortoise

High Yellow Radiated Tortoise

High Yellow Radiated Tortoise

High Yellow Radiated Tortoise



Soda's Favorite Activities

 


Soda loves to be scratched on the head. He automatically stands up and stretches every time.


Soda also enjoys eating plants in the yard especially when the leaves are higher than him. He seems to love the challenge.


Determination

 


Soda and other Juvenile Radiated tortoises

 

 


The small Rads think Soda's plastron is a good hiding place.


Soda and Cola sharing one of their favorites, Gumamela!




Close-up

 

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Shot with a Canon 100mm macro lens


Soda's Growth Through The Years

I've compiled all top-view photos of Soda and included the month and year of each photo. Notice the white growth lines as they turn to yellow. From 4.25 inches on October 2006, Soda grew up to around 12 inches on February 2010.

oct 2006 dec 2006 feb 2007
October 2006, December 2006, and February 2007

nov 2007 dec 2008 march 2009
November 2007, December 2008, and March 2008

may 2009 nov 2009 Feb 2010
May 2009, November 2009, and February 2010

 

 


Introducing Cola, Our Adult Female Radiated Tortoise

Soda's Future Mate

We look forward to breeding such a wonderful species in the future! We're hoping to produce Radiated babies with Soda & Cola!

Look what came in the box last night!

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Cola was eating well the following morning

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Alert and healthy. She'll make a good breeder someday

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This is Soda beside Cola whose shell is still a little dusty

 

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Female adult Radiated tortoise compared to a male. Notice the tail of Cola (left) is much shorter than Soda's tail (right photo) which curls and bends because of its longer length

 


Juvenile Radiated tortoises

 

Just sharing some photos and videos of 4 to 5.5-inch Radiated tortoises.


Soaking in a warm day

 


Above video is Rootbeer, a very round and beautiful semi-high yellow Radiata

 


Enjoying their meal

 

 


Clean and Fresh!

Cola and Soda Getting to know each other

After cleaning and brushing the torts, Cold and Soda spent a lot of time in the backyard. Soda seems to be very excited and very interested!

 

male and female adult radiated tortoise male and female adult radiated tortoise
A lot of smelling

male and female adult radiated tortoise male and female adult radiated tortoise
A little bit of chasing

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Cola exploring her new garden



Radiated Tortoise Compared to a Sulcata

Th Below are photos of Soda, a Radiated tortoise compared to my Sulcata tortoise, Mocha.

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soda mocha soda mocha

soda mocha soda mocha



It's a Boy!!

There are a number of ways to determine the sex of a tortoise (male has long tail and concave plastron). But until he shows his male organ, one can never be 100% sure. On a sunny day of February 2010, during Soda's bath time, we confirmed that Soda is indeed a he! This usually happens when Radiated tortoises are at least 10 inches long.

soda tail soda tail 2
I feel slightly embarassed for having to show Soda's male organ here. But I'm sure he wouldn't mind!

soda organ soda organ
Definitely a male tortoise



Now and Then

This is a comparison of Soda's picture taken on December 2006, and February 2010. On the left, he can easily fit in the palm of my hand.

2006 feb 2010

And below is the difference from October 2006 and December of 2009

oct 2006 dec 2009 soda

As of March 2010, Soda is around 11.5 inches. He started at 4.25 inches on October 2006.

 


Dec '08 Random Photos

This is Soda, my Geochelone Radiata

Nothing makes an owner happier than a healthy tortoise with tons of personality! Soda is simply my favorite!

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November 2009 Random Photos

 

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Strolling around the garden

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Relaxed and comfortable with his surroundings

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radiated tortoise philippines radiated tortoise philippines
Close up. What a pretty face!

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Tortoises love to smell each other especially when they see a new tortoise

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Soda exploring his surroundings

 


Radiated Tortoise Juvies! Such beautiful and rare creatures!

Back in 2009, I also purchased four 4-inch Radiated tortoises. I didn't have them for long because they were part of an important trade that happened a few months later. Here are random photos of them walking around the backyard and a few more pictures of them eating.

radiated tortoise yearling radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines radiated tortoise philippines

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radiated tortoise philippines radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines radiated tortoise philippines

 


Soda With Other Tortoises

Soda was still very small here. He was around 4 inches in 2006.

radiated-and-star-tortoise-comparison
Soda with a male Indian Star tortoise. One can see the comparison between a Star and a Radiated tortoise. The star tortoise is almost fully grown while Soda was just starting to grow and would reach about 13-15 inches in length.

radiated tortoise pattern
Radiated tortoises, Soda (left) and Coffee (right). The patterns are always unique for Radiated tortoises. Coffee, compared to Soda, has thinner lines radiating from the middle.

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Below is Biscuit, a smaller Radiated tortoise. We had to return Biscuit to the seller due to immediate problems and would not eat within 3 days. I am so glad that Soda turned out very healthy. He is now more than a foot long, very active, and has great appetite.

 


Old Photos of Soda taken at the yard

Soda was around 4.25 inches at this time.

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