The hinge-back tortoise has a hinge, which is known as a carapace, across the back portion of its shell. It lives in savannas in tropical and subtropical Africa. The tortoise eats insects, snails, slugs, dead frogs, tadpoles, vegetation, fruit and fungi.
There are five species of the tortoise, and hinge-back tortoises can grow to reach about 12 inches in length, depending on the species. They are often kept as pets. When kept as pets, they need two types of lighting. UVB lights keep the tortoise's bones strong and help it metabolize calcium. Heat lighting keeps the tortoises enclosure at 80 degrees Fahrenheit for comfort.