About This Animal
SIZE: 6 - 7 inches long
RANGE: This East African species is native to southern Kenya and northern and western Tanzania
HABITAT: Rocky hills and slopes with rocky outcrops in arid savanna and scrub areas at altitudes from 100 to 6,000 feet
DIET: A variety of fresh and dry grasses, and some fruit
ON EXHIBIT: Turtle Gallery in River Journey
The pancake tortoise has an unusually thin, flat, flexible shell. While the shell bones of most other tortoises are solid, the pancake tortoise has shell bones with many openings, making it lighter and more agile than other tortoises.
The greatest threats facing the pancake tortoise are habitat destruction and its over-exploitation by the pet trade. Given the low reproductive rate of this tortoise, populations that have been harvested may take a long time to recover.