We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Pancake Tortoise?

K.C. Bruning
By
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The pancake tortoise gets its name from its unusually flat, flexible shell. It is native to South Eastern Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania. The tortoises are brown with dark lines that run down the back of their shells. Due to their unusual shape, pancake tortoises are highly desirable as captive animals for private and public purposes. If properly cared for, they typically live about 25 years in captivity.

Pancake tortoises tend to be small and light. A full-grown adult will weigh about 1 to 1.5 pounds (0.5 to 0.7 kilograms). They grow to approximately 6 inches (15 centimeters) long and 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 3.8 centimeters) high.

When determining the sex of pancake tortoises, males can be distinguished from females by easily visible traits. Males are usually smaller, with thicker and longer tails. They also have less distinctive markings on their shells.

As the pancake tortoise is the only kind of tortoise with a flat, flexible shell, it is vulnerable to attack from predators. While the design of the tortoise’s shell leaves it open to danger, it also enables it to hide in small, tight areas, which gives it an extra measure of protection. The pancake tortoise’s shell is so malleable that it can bend nearly in half. It also has more flexible bones and limbs than other kinds of tortoises. A pancake tortoise can wedge itself into a hiding place so well that it can be extremely difficult to remove.

As its shell does not offer sufficient protection from many predators, most pancake tortoises will run rather than shrinking into their shells when threatened. They are adept at running, climbing, and hiding quickly. Often pancake tortoises will spend most of the day in one hiding place, where they lie stacked on top of each other.

The flat shell of the pancake tortoise also limits reproduction. Due to the lack of space, the females can usually only carry one egg at a time. On rare occasions, a female will have two eggs. The tortoises typically breed in January and February.

In the wild, pancake tortoises typically eat grass. A captive turtle will also eat kale, turnips, and collard greens. They eat foods with skin such as beans, peas, apples, and pears, as well. Particularly juicy foods such as tomatoes and cucumbers can cause stomach problems. Meat can also be problematic for pancake tortoises as it can cause overgrowth and bone and liver problems.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
K.C. Bruning
By K.C. Bruning
Kendahl Cruver Bruning, a versatile writer and editor, creates engaging content for a wide range of publications and platforms, including All Things Nature. With a degree in English, she crafts compelling blog posts, web copy, resumes, and articles that resonate with readers. Bruning also showcases her passion for writing and learning through her own review site and podcast, offering unique perspectives on various topics.
Discussion Comments
K.C. Bruning
K.C. Bruning
Kendahl Cruver Bruning, a versatile writer and editor, creates engaging content for a wide range of publications and...
Learn more
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.