Joy Harsh, Education Curator for the Abilene Zoo brought a pancake tortoise to show off in the studio today. The little turtle gets his name from the flat shape of his shell, which makes it easier to slide under rocks found in it's natural habitat.
"Where they live in Africa they live under the rocks," Harsh explains, "what they'll do is get themselves underneath the rocks and wedge themselves up to protect themselves."
While turtles normally get the stigma for being slow movers, our guest scurried along fairly quickly.
"They can move a lot faster than we think," says Harsh, "I always tell the kids for turtle speed, he moves pretty fast!"
Pancake turtles commonly live on a diet of fruits and veggies, namely lettuce, apples, and carrots.
Harsh does not recommend keeping turtles as pets, due to their high maintenance need for calcium and proper lighting in order to grow properly.
"If they don't get the proper nutrients their shell actually wont grow but their body will," Harsh explains, "We've seen some bad things with people who don't quite know how to take care of turtles."
Turtle fans can get their fix by visiting Zoo Lane. There are at least seven different species featured at the Abilene Zoo.