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The pancake tortoise is named for its flat and flexible shell, which helps it escape predators. The tortoise is able to squeeze into small crevices and hold on tight. By rotating the front limbs and digging it with its claws, the tortoise is very difficult for a predator to pry out.

Did You Know?

At the sign of danger, the pancake tortoise runs for shelter among the rocks rather than withdrawing into its shell like other tortoises.

Quick Facts

Latin Name:
Malacochersus tornieri

Rocky Outcrops

5.5 to 6.5 in

Zoo Location:
Reptile House

Grasses, leaves, and fruit

Risk Status:
Species at Risk (IUCN—Vulnerable)