Irwins Turtle

Irwin’s Snapping Turtle

Elseya irwini


This turtle was discovered by the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin.

Exhibit Name and Location:
Baltimore - Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes

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Irwin's Snapping Turtle

This species was first discovered by Steve Irwin, the late Crocodile Hunter, and his father, Bob Irwin, in the early 1990s. The first specimen was then collected and described by Australian herpetologist John Cann, who named it Elseya irwini, after its discoverers. There is still very little known about this species, and biologists today are working on both collecting more specimens and observing them in the wild to learn more about their behavior.

Outside of Australia, the only place you can see this turtle is the National Aquarium, Baltimore.


These turtles eat snails and plant matter; females may be completely herbivorous.


They can grow up to 11.8 inches, and males are about half the size of females.


This species occurs in the upstream reaches of the Broken and Bowen Rivers, which are tributaries to the Burdekin River in southern Queensland, Australia.

Population Status

The population is estimated at 4,000–5,000 individuals.


Crocodiles eat these turtles, and feral pigs, lizards, and goannas eat the eggs. 

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A Note From the Caretaker

The National Aquarium has successfully reproduced Irwin’s snapping turtle. Two of these turtles hatched here in 2006 and are currently on exhibit.