Pig-Nosed Turtle

Pig-nosed Turtle

Carettochelys insculpta

DID YOU KNOW?

This is the only freshwater turtle that has flippers like a sea turtle.

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

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National Aquarium – Pig-Nosed Turtle National Aquarium – Pig-Nosed Turtle National Aquarium – Pig-Nosed Turtle National Aquarium – Pig-Nosed Turtle

Pig-nosed Turtle

This aquatic turtle, also called the Fly River turtle, is a strange animal! It is the only freshwater turtle with flippers resembling those of marine turtles.

These reptiles are aptly named: the nose actually does resemble that of a pig, with nostrils at the front of a fleshy, protruding snout.

The carapace (shell) and limbs may be gray to olive green. Plastral (bottom shell) color is light—white, cream, or yellowish.

Males have larger tails than the females, making them easy to identify.

Females lays their eggs in nests dug into sandbars that are exposed during the dry season. The eggs develop fully but do not hatch until exposed to the first rains of the wet season.

Diet

Pig-nosed turtles are omnivorous, but prefer more plant than animal matter. Their natural diet is mostly made up of the fruit and leaves of the wild fig.

Size

This reptile can grow to a weight of 50 pounds and a length of 22 inches.

Range

These turtles are found in northern Australia, Irian Jaya, and southern New Guinea.

Their habitat includes rivers, estuaries, lagoons, lakes, swamps, and pools.

Population Status

Although once believed to be extremely rare, these turtles are common within their range. There have been declines in some areas, and Australia has taken steps to protect the species from exploitation.

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A Note From the Caretaker

Harold is our especially friendly pig-nosed turtle. You can see him in the tank with the lungfish.

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