Soda, Cola, and Our Radiated Tortoise Breeders

Soda is our male Radiated tortoise and is the eldest resident of the garden. We've had him since he was only 4 inches. He's now around 14 inches and more than 8 kilos. Of all the tortoises we've kept since 1999, Soda is the friendliest. He consistently approaches us to be petted. He will stand up high and stretch his head while being scratched. Nothing makes a tortoise owner happier than a tortoise that is healthy, friendly and active!

Cola is Soda's forever partner and the loving mother of our baby Rads. She is a big female Radiata measuring about 14.5 inches and 8.5 kilos. Despite her size, she is very gentle even with our baby tortoises. My vet described her as an old soul trapped in a tortoise's body. It was a perfect description!

Soda and Cola are both Radiated tortoises which are endemic to the country of Madagascar. The Radiated tortoise is one of the most attractive and sought-after tortoise species of all. They are classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN and listed on CITES Appendix I because of poaching and destruction of their habitat. They are a long-lived species with a recorded lifespan of 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 tortoises!


Beautiful Day at 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

Soda

High Yellow Radiated Tortoise

High Yellow Radiated Tortoise

High Yellow Radiated Tortoise

High Yellow Radiated Tortoise

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Soda and other Juvenile Radiated tortoises

Here you can see the size difference between an adult male Radiated tortoise and juvenile Rads.

The small Rads think Sodas plastron is a good hiding place.

Soda and Cola sharing one of their favorites, Gumamela!

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Soda's Favorite Activities

Some of Soda's daily shenanigans!

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

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Juvenile Radiated tortoises

Just sharing some videos of a few 4 to 5.5-inch Radiated tortoises.

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

Enjoying their meal

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Close-up

Experimenting with a 100mm macro lense. I will try to post more photos.

radiated-tortoise-philippines

Shot with a Canon 100mm macro lens

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Introducing Cola, Our Adult Female Radiated Tortoise

Soda's forever partner! We look forward to breeding such a wonderful species in the future! Were hoping to produce Radiated babies with Soda and Cola!

female radiated tortoise

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

tail comparison of male female radiated tortoise

male and female adult radiated tortoise

Cola and Soda Starting to Show Interest with 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

A lot of smelling

male and female adult radiated tortoise

male and female adult radiated tortoise

A little bit of chasing

male and female adult radiated tortoise

male and female adult radiated tortoise

Cola exploring her new garden

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Now and Then

This is a comparison of Soda's picture taken on December 2006, December 2009, and February 2010. On the first photo, he can easily fit in the palm of my hand.

Soda the Radiated Tortoise in December 2006

December 2006

Soda the Radiated Tortoise in March 2010

As of March 2010, Soda is around 11.5 inches.

Soda the Radiated Tortoise in October 2006

October 2006

Soda the Radiated Tortoise in December 2009

December 2009

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Radiated Tortoise Compared to a Sulcata

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

soda mocha

soda mocha

soda mocha

soda mocha

soda mocha

soda mocha

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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 the male 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 he! This usually happens when Radiated tortoises are at least 10 inches long.

soda tail

soda tail 2

soda organ

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

soda organ

Definitely a male tortoise

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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.

38991

39052

39114

39387

39783

39873

39934

40118

40210

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Radiated Tortoise Juvies

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.

Such beautiful and rare creatures!

radiated tortoise yearling

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

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November 2009 Random Photos

A few photos at the garden.

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

Strolling around the garden

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

Relaxed and comfortable with his surroundings

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

Close up. What a pretty face!

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

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

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

Soda exploring his surroundings

radiated tortoise philippines

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December 2008 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!

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

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Old Photos of Soda taken at the yard

Soda was around 4.25 inches at this time.

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

radiated tortoise philippines

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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.

radiated tortoises philippines

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.

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