Radiated Tortoise (Geochelone radiate or Astrochelys radiate), top; and Spider Tortoise (Pyxis arachnids), bottom - photo from peace-on-earth, via Flickr; Both species are endemic to Madagascar, and are classified as Critically Endangered. (The “star” pattern on the Radiated Tortoise is more finely detailed and intricate than the normal pattern of other star-patterned tortoise species.)
Pfeiffer Beach is situated beneath crumbling hills that have released, over time, billions of tiny garnet crystals. The blood-red garnets shimmer in the sand, bringing it alive with reflected sunlight. The action of the waves shapes and twists the tiny crystals into ever-changing iridescent rainbow patterns glowing pink, red, magenta and purple.