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Speke’s Hingeback Tortoise

Kinixys Spekii

This species of tortoise is a highly evolved species with excellent protection from predators by means of a fully closable shell design. Once closed the rear legs are not available to be bitten. They have also evolved to live in a very specific habitat – hot and dry most of the year, with a specific wet season. They are quite a flat species, ideal for living in rocky terrain.

Its carapace has a weak, disrupted medial keel, and posterior marginals that are neither strongly serrated nor reverted. This species has a well-developed hinge at the rear end of the upper part of its shell, permitting the protection of its rear legs after they have been retracted. The male has a notably longer tail than the female of this species, and the tails end in a spine. Females possess a flat plastron, yet males have a more concave one.

fun facts

Conservation Status:

Least concern


East Africa, Mozambique and Zululand


Savannah, dry bishland with rocky areas


Flowers, leaves, grasses, fruits, fungi

Carapace length:




Incubation period:

10-12 months

Life Span:

25-60 yrs