ANIMAL: Home’s Hingeback Tortoise Kinixys homeana Type of Animal: Tortoise Habitat: Tropical/subtropical forest, coastal forest, swamps, plantations, streams Location(s): W & C Africa Appearance: Tan to dark brown carapace (upper shell), flat scutes, carapace angles sharply down back, brown to yellow skin, plastron (bottom shell) yellow w/ black spots in center of scutes, front of shell slopes towards narrow head, male heads sometimes have more color, scaly front legs, males have larger tails/concave plastron, females have flatter plastron but older females sometimes have concave plastron, females larger than males, hatchlings flat/round & dull ochre w/ darker spotting Food/Diet: Mushrooms, seeds, plant matter, greens, melons, fruit, vegetables, berries, legumes, insects, insect larvae, snails, slugs, worms, spiders, frogs, carrion, small rodents, isopods, fish, grasses Status in Wild: Threatened Conservation: Breeding in zoos, herpetoculture, & breeding centers Lifestyle: Solitary or small herds of a male & 2-3 females Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young: Hatchling Group: Herd Weight: Male: 1.7 lbs Female: 2.4 lbs Gestation: 5 months Life Span: 25-60 years Body Length: Male: 5.5-6 in Female: 9-11.5 in Young: 3 in Tail Length: Male: Longer/thicker Female: Shorter Main predators of adults are crocodiles & leopards. Ball pythons prey on young. Threatened due to habitat loss, deforestation, pet trade, hunting for meat, & hunting for medicinal purposes. They’re very shy in the wild. Can be active any time of day but most inactive at mid/late night. They’re very light sensitive, almost never basking in sun. Females lay 1-4 oval/spherical eggs in excavated burrows/forest litter, once or twice a year. Courtship fairly simple w/ male nudging/shoving female, then mounting her. During mating, he’ll stretch neck as far as possible & open mouth in wide gape, emitting low moaning hisses. Males reach maturity before females. Fun Fact(s): Have hybridized w/ closely related species in captivity. Named after English naturalist/surgeon Everard Home. When threatened, they can partially retract head into shell & cover opening w/ front legs. They’ve been seen using flood waters to float to different areas. Get hingeback name due to ability to clamp down rear portion of shell to protect vulnerable tail/back legs. These tortoises don’t make the best pets.