Forest hinge-back tortoise

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Forest hinge-back tortoise
Kinixys erosa.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Testudinidae
Genus: Kinixys
Species: K. erosa
Binomial name
Kinixys erosa
(Schweigger, 1812)
  • Testudo erosa Schweigger, 1812
  • Testudo schoepfii Fitzinger, 1826 (nomen nudum)
  • Kinixys castanea Bell, 1827
  • Kinixys erosa Gray, 1831
  • Cinixys erosa Duméril & Bibron, 1835
  • Cinixys (Cinixys) castanea Fitzinger, 1835
  • Kinixys belliana erosa Nutaphand, 1979

The forest hinge-back tortoise (Kinixys erosa), serrated hinge-back tortoise, or Schweigger's tortoise is a species of tortoise (family Testudinidae). Another species, Psammobates oculifer, also goes by the same name of serrated tortoise.[2]

This species is indigenous to the tropical forests and marshes of central and west Africa.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The hinge-back tortoise is indigenous to the tropical rainforests of Sub-Saharan Africa. Here it is often found in marshes and river banks, where it spends much of its time buried under roots and logs.

Its natural range extends from northern Angola, throughout the Congo basin, as far east as the shores of Lake Victoria, and throughout the West African forests as far as Senegal. Specifically, it is found in Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Uganda, possibly Benin, possibly Guinea-Bissau, and possibly Togo.


The hingeback tortoise can arch its back 90 degrees downwards to protect its tail and hind legs while sleeping and to protect itself from predators. It is an excellent swimmer[citation needed] and can dive and navigate rainforest water-bodies to search for food. Females lay up to 4 eggs on the ground, covered in leaves.


The hingeback tortoise are omnivores, feeding on edible leaves, grass, invertebrates, carrion, weeds, and fruits.


K. erosa is hunted locally for bush meat, and its range has retreated due to clearance of its rainforest habitat. The hinge-back tortoise is considered to be threatened in the long-term, primarily due to habitat destruction.[3]


  1. ^ Fritz Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World" (PDF). Vertebrate Zoology. 57 (2): 285–286. ISSN 1864-5755. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  2. ^ (Downloaded on 28 February 2010.)
  3. ^ Bruce G. Marcot, "Two Turtles from Western Democratic Republic of the Congo: Pelusios chapini and Kinixys erosa." Includes photos.


External links[edit]