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Pancake Tortoise Health Information

The Pancake Tortoise requires a fairly warm environment with various temperatures throughout their enclosure. You can use heating elements such as ceramic heaters and incandescent light bulbs to achieve this. If you live in a warm, dry climate it is best to house them outside when weather permits. You should also provide hiding areas for each tortoise that you own. Pancake Tortoises are most active in the morning and near dusk, and idelly should be fed in the early morning. Ideally, their diet should consist mostly of a variety of grasses and dark leafy green vegetables such as collards and turnip greens. Many also enjoy vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers, and some fruits. Melons are often a favorite treat. Pancake Tortoises do not need to drink very often because they get most of the water they need from the food they eat. They can be provided a shallow dish or they can be soaked about once every 10 days or so. Young Pancake Tortoises should be soaked more frequently. Those less than one year old should be soaked about twice a week. If keeping them indoors, rabbit pellets are a good substrate as the tortoise can digest them if the substrate is ingested.

In captivity, Pancake Tortoises will breed at varying times and varying the light cycle simulates the change of seasons that occurs naturally for them. Males will go after the females and then climb up on them. Males usually become especially aggressive towards one another during the breeding season. Females lay one egg in a nest that she digs, but she may do this as often as every month and a half or two months. Incubated eggs will often hatch in 140 to 190 days at a temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Some breeders have had trouble with infertile eggs, but other breeders have reported that this is the result of an infertile male.

Apparently there is a great difference in success rates depending on where the breeding pairs of tortoises originated geographically. Often times adults from different regions will not breed to each other. If the adults are taken from the same region, success rates are generally much higher. This may account for the wide range of reports we have received regarding the ease of breeding this species. Some breeders report effortless breeding programs with numerous young, while others report great difficulty. But because of this we have classified them as relatively difficult, though in some cases, they may even be considered relatively easy.

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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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