This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (July 2013)
It was a large species, roughly 115 cm in length. It was originally one of the six endemic tortoise species of Madagascar (2 large Aldabrachelys; 2 medium Astrochelys; 2 small Pyxis). It was sympatric with the other giant tortoise species of Madagascar, Aldabrachelys grandidieri (also extinct), and both species occupied both the coasts and the cooler highlands of Madagascar, where they fulfilled the role of large grazers. A.abrupta was a browser of bushes and low hanging branches; A.grandidieri was a grazer of grassy meadows and wetlands.
Unlike its low, flattened sister species, A.abrupta had a high, rounded, domed shell.
Material of this species has been dated to 750–2850 years before present, and it seems to have been widely distributed throughout Madagascar. It was estimated to have gone extinct c.1200 AD. However remains with disputed dating have suggested that some survived up until at least 1500 AD, and it seems to have survived a considerable time in coexistence with humans, before it finally died out.
- Fritz Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World" (PDF). Vertebrate Zoology. 57 (2): 265. ISSN 1864-5755. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- A.Rhodin, S.Thompson: Turtles and Tortoises of the World During the Rise and Global Spread of Humanity: First Checklist and Review of Extinct Pleistocene and Holocene Chelonians. Chelonian Research Foundation. 2015. 000e.27
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