Madagascar-endemic + star-shaped shells = critically-endangered

“Astrochelys” refers to the star-shaped patterns on the shells of these tortoises. These terrestrial tortoises live in tropical brush, scrub, thorn forests, thickets, and woodlands. They are herbivorous, feeding on types of fruits, grasses, and succulents during the day.

Eggs are laid in a hole in the ground, after which the female leaves the nest. Besides careful selection of the nest site, no parental care is observed. Each clutch contains 1 to 12 eggs, depending on the species.

Both species within this genus are critically endangered due to habitat loss, poaching, and capture for the illegal pet trade.