Tanzania Journal of Science

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Morphometrics of the pancake tortoise (Malacochersus tornieri) in Tanzania

J Kabigumila


Observations were made of the morphometrics of captive pancake tortoise (Malacochersus tornieri) in June 1995. Carapace length ranges for immature tortoises and adult males and females were 50-115, 123-160 and 129-171 mm respectively. The respective carapace widths were 45-90, 97-130, and 92-129 and 97-130 mm. Carapace height ranges were 15-29, 25-40 and 117-159 mm, respectively, while plastron length ranges were 45-110, 108-150 and 117-159 mm. The relationships between carapace length and width (males: y = 13.763+0.639x; females: y = 17.302+0.639x) and height (males: y=6.851+0.170x, females: y = 17.274+0.170x) were isometric and sexually dimorphic in adults. The relationship between carapace length (x) and plastron length (y) was also isometric (y = 20.438+0.790x) but not sexually dimorphic in adults. The respective mass ranges for immature tortoises, adult males and females were 20-200, 200-500 and 240-580 g. The relationship between mass (x in g) and carapace length (y in mm) were strongly allometric (males: y = 32.026x0.261; females: y = 26.188x0.261) and not sexually dimorphic in adults. That in immature tortoises was y = 16.482x0.363.

Tanz. J. Sci. Vol. 28(2) 2002: 33-46
AJOL African Journals Online