African pancake tortoise: Malacochersus tornieri
Distribution and Habitat
The pancake tortoise is found in East Africa, in countries such as Tanzania and Kenya.
These small creatures need a warm and dry environment. They can be found in elevations varying from 100 to 6,000 ft. above sea level. They enjoy living in dry, rocky outcropping areas as they are excellent climbers.
These tortoises are very unusual looking as far as tortoises go. They are up to 7 inches in length and about 1 to 1.5 inches in height. They are considered very fast and excellent escape artists due to their speed. This tortoise would rather run for cover than simply go into its shell! They are a golden brown to an olive brown in color with random patterns on each scute aiding to their camouflaged look.
The pancake tortoise does not need to drink water very often as they get most of their fluids from the food that they eat.
The shell of a Pancake tortoise is very flexible and can be bent and depressed with only mild pressure.
Luckily for the Pancake tortoise, less bone means a lighter animal, so Pancakes can move more quickly than a tortoise with a thick shell. It is quite possible that they are the fastest tortoises in the world.