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Pancake Tortoise basic information

It has been reported that in the case of juvenile Pancake Tortoises the plastron, roughly the center, acts as a diaphragm and can be pushed out from the body. In other words, the width of the tortoise does actually expand for juveniles, allowing them to expand their bodies in order to wedge themselves into crevices. There is significant debate about this and even if this is true most theorize that this is not the normal defense mechanism that keeps them in the cracks. The actual defense mechanism is that they use their legs to prop themselves up against the cracks to stay wedged in. In some cases this may vary, but the general consensus is that the expanding plastron seems unlikely since they would not be able to breathe under this circumstance. We could say it has been reported that juveniles may... use their breath to expand their thickness to help wedge themselves in, but The Pancake Tortoise is very unusual looking as far as tortoises go. They can measure up to 7 inches in length, but they appear flat since they are only about 1 to 1.5 inches in height. This flat appearance gives them their name. The carapace of a Pancake Tortoise is golden brown to an olive-brown color with random patterning on each scute, making them very camouflaged in their natural environment. Males have longer and thicker tails than females do, but it is difficult to use this to determine the sex of the tortoise until they have reached five years of age.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pancake_Tortoise".
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