Asiatic Softshell Turtle

Amyda cartilaginea

Summary 5

The Asiatic softshell turtle(Amyda cartilaginea) or black rayed softshell turtle is a species of softshell turtle in the Trionychidae family.

Diagnosis 6

Amyda cartilaginea has a shell that grows from 70 to 80 cm (27.6 to 31.5 inches) in length.[1] The juvenile turtle's shell has a rough appearance; adults have a shell that is soft and leathery in texture. This turtle is average sized, growing to weigh between 15 kg (33 lbs) and 25 kg (55 lbs),[2] with unconfirmed reports claiming that Amyda Cartilaginea can grow to be as heavy as 105 kg (231 lbs).[2] Its carapace is oval in shape; on adult turtles its color ranges from a soft olive to green-brown. On juveniles, the carapace is dark brown or black, however this color fades with age. Yellow dots, and the occasional black spot, can be found on the shell, but these too fade as the turtle gets older. Its plastron is sexually dimorphic, appearing white in males and gray in females.[2]

The head of Amyda cartilaginea can be black or brown. Its head typically displays yellow dots that sometimes appear to fuse together, creating elongated streaks. As the turtle ages, its nape region becomes white or gray.[1] A trait that helps differentiate the Asiatic soft-shell turtle from other similar species is its noticeably elongated snout. This is an adaptation that, coupled with its great flexibility, aids the turtle in breathing when it has buried itself.[2] Increased gas exchange, a result of an adaptation known as "pharyngel breathing", allows the Asiatic soft-shell turtle to remain submerged in water for extended periods of time.[1] Amyda cartilaginea has several permanent tubercles on its neck;[1] these tubercles can appear yellow or black. The Asiatic soft-shell turtle's limbs also have yellow spots, but these are usually less in quantity and difficult to distinguish. Its feet are wide and flat, resembling paddles. As a final descriptive note, the males have longer and thicker tails than females.[1]

Conservation 6

The Asiatic softshell turtle is found in wetlands and rivers, mostly in different parts of Asia. In this region, they are exploited for trade and harvested for food. With business developing that rely on the exploitation of Amyda cartilaginea, the population of this species has declined. There is more worry now than ever about the danger of the Asiatic soft-shell's exploitation. In fact, it is hard to say exactly how much longer this species will be around.[3]

Sources and Credits 6

1. "Amyda cartilaginea (Black-rayed Soft-shelled Turtle, Asiatic Softshell Turtle)". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
2. Asiatic Softshell Turtle, Southeast Asian Softshell Turtle". Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group.
3. http://www.asianturtlenetwork.org/field_guide/amyda_cartilaginea.htm

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) tontantravel, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), https://www.flickr.com/photos/tontantravel/8913380957/
  2. (c) Ian Wongkar, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://www.flickr.com/photos/47555607@N07/6356985327
  3. (c) robbythai, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/9833950
  4. (c) Wibowo Djatmiko (Wie146), some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6c/Amyd_cartil_090818-11917_tsa.jpg
  5. Adapted by calebcam from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amyda_cartilaginea
  6. (c) calebcam, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

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