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A nifty trick helps this tortoise use its shell to its full potential.

Description: The Bell’s Hingeback Tortoise has a light-brown shell and can grow up to 22cm in length. It gets its name from a 90 degree hinge on the back of its shell which, when closed, can protect its rear legs and tail from predators.

Diet: Vegetation, fruit, fungi, small invertebrates and snails

In the wild: These tortoises are active during the wet season and aestivate (become dormant) in a burrow or at the bottom of drying waterholes during the dry season.

Threats: Bell’s Hingeback Tortoises are hunted for food, traditional medicine and the illegal pet trade. Its natural predators include leopards, hawks and eagles.

Did you Know?

The Bell's Hingeback Tortoise's unique shell means it can better protect its tail and hind legs when attacked by predators.

Precinct
Australian Reptile Encounter
Scientific Name
Kenixys belliana
Conservation Status
Least Concern
Body Length
15-22 cm
Weight
1-2 kg
Class
Reptile
Incubation
90-110 days
Number of Eggs
Up to 45
Distribution
Central and southern Africa
Habitat
Savannah, savannah woodland, open grassland, coastal plain and dry bush
Region
Africa
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