Fly River Turtle

Fly River Turtle - Carettochelys insculptaCarettochelys insculpta

Description: The Fly River Turtle is a very unique turtle. Although it is a freshwater animal, its front limbs are very flipper-like, a feature usually only seen amongst sea turtles. Also, its carapace and plastron, rather than being covered in hard scutes, is instead covered in a leathery skin. The carapace itself is grayish-olive and the plastron is creamy white in color. They get their nickname, Pig Nosed Turtle, from the obvious resemblance their nose has with a pig’s snout.

Range: Lower Papua New Guinea and coastal Northern Territory, Australia.

Habitat: They seem to mostly prefer rivers, although many Fly River Turtles have been found in ponds, lagoons, and swamps.

Diet: Fruits, leaves, mollusks, crustaceans, insects and insect larvae, and sometimes carrion.

Reproduction: Female Fly River Turtles come out of the water to lay their eggs on river banks during the dry season. Females will usually lay between 7 and 39 total eggs. Fly River Turtle eggs are incredibly unique; all other turtle eggs when submerged in water will cause the young inside to drown but the Fly River Turtle eggs actually required being submerged in water to hatch. Once the young inside the egg are fully developed they stay inside the egg in a sort of hibernation state until they get wet. This ensures that even if the wet season comes late the babies will only hatch when it begins to rain.