Monday, January 19, 2009

Pancake tortoise

Last night I finished running the D &D campaign that I'd been GMing for a year and a half. The players ended up winning, I hope the end was not too anti-climatic there were a few mistakes I was fully expecting them to make that they avoided at the last second so it probably seemed a lot easier than it should have been.

Goal for the week 20 hours
paint the buffalo pipe horns
sand boxes


The pancake tortoise (Malacochersus tornieri) is a very flattened tortoise from Kenya and Tanzania. Often the pancake tortoise's shell is 6 or 7 inches long but only 1 inch high. For a tortoise they have a thin flexible shell that could easily be torn apart by predators so they spend most of their time crammed into the crevices between rocks. On their plastron they also have a flexible diamond shaped region they can wedge against the rocks making them difficult to dislodge. Their light shell allows them to run more quickly then other tortoises and also to right themselves quickly should they end up on their back. They will live communally with other pancake tortoises and sometimes as many as ten will share a favorable crevice. They tend to eat very tough vegetation and cactuses which they also get all of their water from. The collection wild individuals for the pet trade has not been kind to the wild population of these tortoises as they breed slowly and populations take a long time to recover. They have been successfully bred in captivity.

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