KidZone home page
DLTK's Crafts for Kids

KidZone Animals
Pancake Tortoise

© written by Tasha Guenther

Pancake tortoise sitting

"African Pancake Tortoise"; used with permission under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Pancake tortoise (Malacochersus tornieri) literally looks like a pancake. It is the only existing member of the genus Malacochersus. It is a part of the family of tortoises, Testudinidae. They are usually found in rocky environments.

They are very flexible turtles - this makes them extremely unique to turtles and, more specifically, to tortoises. They often get 'stuck' in between rocks and small spaces, but because their shells (carapaces) are so flexible, they can easily squeeze through almost impossible cracks. This also provides them with protection from predators. Because of their environment, they are often found eating dryer grasses - and survive longer than most turtles without food.

They are generally smaller than most tortoises, measuring about 15.5 cm. They live, on average, 40 years - and can live much longer.