Carettochelys insculpta

Carettochelys insculpta, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Reptilia
Subclassis: Anapsida
Ordo: Testudines
Subordo: Cryptodira
Superfamilia: Trionychoidea
Familia: Carettochelyidae
Genus: Carettochelys
Species: Carettochelys insculpta

Name

Carettochelys insculpta (Ramsay, 1886)

Vernacular names
Internationalization
English: Australasian Pig-nose Turtle
Français: tortue à nez de cochon
日本語: スッポンモドキ
Русский: Двухкоготная черепаха

-----------

The Pig-nosed Turtle (Carettochelys insculpta), also known as the Hog-nosed Turtle, Pitted-shelled Turtle, Plateless Turtle or Fly River Turtle, is a species of soft-shelled turtle native to freshwater streams, lagoons and rivers of the Northern Territory of Australia and the Trans Fly savanna and grasslands of southern New Guinea[1]. It is a living fossil, being the only living member of the family Carettochelyidae, and the only known species in the subfamily Carettochelyinae and the genus Carettochelys.
Subspecies

There are two subspecies:

* Carettochelys insculpta insculpta (Ramsay, 1887)
* Carettochelys insculpta canni (Wells, 2002)


Description
The Pig-nosed Turtle is unlike any other species of freshwater turtle in the world. It is the best adapted turtle to an aquatic lifestyle , with the exception of marine turtles. The carapace is typically grey or olive in colour, with a leathery texture, while the plastron is cream-coloured. The feet are flippers, resembling those of marine turtles. The nose looks like that of a pig, having the nostrils at the end of a fleshy snout, hence the common name. Males can be distinguished from females by their longer and narrower tails. Pig-nosed Turtles can grow to about 70 cm shell-length, with a weight of over 20 kg.

Unlike the softshell turtles of the family Trionychidae, the Pig-nosed Turtle retains a domed bony carapace beneath its leathery skin, rather than a flat plate. They also retain a solid plastron, connected to the carapace by a strong bony bridge, rather than the soft margin of the Trionychids[1].

The species is omnivorous, eating a wide variety of plant and animal matter, including the fruit and leaves of the fig as well as crustaceans, molluscs and insects. They are also well known to eat the bodies of Kangaroos, cattle and any other dead animals that make their way into the river systems where they live. Though in captivity they have been known to show very differentiated tastes from one individual to the next. Some preferring fish, while others might like Kangaroo meat. [1] Females do not reach maturity until at least 18 years old and males at around the 16 year mark. They lay their eggs late in the dry season on sandy river banks. When the offspring is fully developed, they will stay inside the eggs in hibernation, and not hatch before the eggs have been flooded with water or may be triggered by a sudden drop in air pressure signaling an approaching storm. Using these triggers along with vibration caused by other hatching turtles in the same clutch, it gives a better chance for survival. Firstly using a universal trigger rather than waiting for incubation to finish means that they all hatch at the same time. Not only does this provide safety in numbers, but the more turtles that hatch the more help they have to dig through the sand. The second part of this technique means that regardless of how late the wet season is, they will always hatch once it has started to rain. Rather than hatching before the rain in a late wet.

Behaviour

Pig-nosed Turtles are almost entirely aquatic. Little is known about general behaviour as there have been few studies in the wild. Their aggressive behavior in captivity suggests that this species is markedly more territorial than most other turtles and tortoises. Though they seem to be able to have a degree of social structure in the way that they conduct themselves during the cold dry season around the thermal vents that line some river systems they inhabit.

In captivity

Pig-nosed Turtles have become available through the exotic pet trade, with a few instances of captive breeding. While juveniles are small and grow slowly, their high cost and large potential size makes them suitable only for experienced aquatic turtle keepers. They tend to be shy and prone to stress also getting sick easily, which can cause problems with their feeding, but they are known to eat commercially available processed turtle pellets or trout chow, as well as various fruits and vegetables. Breeding is rarely an option to the hobbyist, as adults are highly aggressive and will attack each other in all but the largest enclosures.

References

1. ^ a b c Obst, Fritz Jurgen (1998). Cogger, H.G. & Zweifel, R.G.. ed. Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 118. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.

* Species Carettochelys insculpta at The Reptile Database

* IUCN Red list of Threatened Species: Carettochelys insculpta

----

The pig-nosed turtle (Carettochelys insculpta), also known as the pitted-shelled turtle or fly river turtle, is a species of turtle native to freshwater streams, lagoons and rivers of the Northern Territory of Australia and the Trans Fly savanna and grasslands of southern New Guinea[2]. This species is the only living member of the family Carettochelyidae, and the only known species in the subfamily Carettochelyinae and the genus Carettochelys, however there are numerous extinct species that have been described from all over the world.


Subspecies

Some literature claims that there are two subspecies, however recent works by Georges & Thomson, 2010.[3] refutes the validity of this.

Description


The pig-nosed turtle is unlike any other species of freshwater turtle in the world. It is the best adapted turtle to an aquatic lifestyle[citation needed], with the exception of marine turtles. The carapace is typically grey or olive in colour, with a leathery texture, while the plastron is cream-coloured. The feet are flippers, resembling those of marine turtles. The nose looks like that of a pig, having the nostrils at the end of a fleshy snout, hence the common name. Males can be distinguished from females by their longer and narrower tails. Pig-nosed turtles can grow to about 70 cm shell-length, with a weight of over 20 kg.

Unlike the softshell turtles of the family Trionychidae, the pig-nosed turtle retains a domed bony carapace beneath its leathery skin, rather than a flat plate. They also retain a solid plastron, connected to the carapace by a strong bony bridge, rather than the soft margin of the Trionychids[2].

The species is omnivorous, eating a wide variety of plant and animal matter, including the fruit and leaves of the fig as well as crustaceans, molluscs and insects. They are also well known to eat the bodies of kangaroos, cattle and any other dead animals that make their way into the river systems where they live. In captivity they have shown very differentiated tastes from one individual to the next. Some preferring fish, while others might like Kangaroo meat. [2] Females do not reach maturity until at least 18 years old and males at around the 16 year mark. They lay their eggs late in the dry season on sandy river banks. When the offspring is fully developed, they will stay inside the eggs in hibernation, and not hatch before the eggs have been flooded with water or may be triggered by a sudden drop in air pressure signaling an approaching storm. Using these triggers along with vibration caused by other hatching turtles in the same clutch, it gives a better chance for survival. Firstly using a universal trigger rather than waiting for incubation to finish means that they all hatch at the same time. Not only does this provide safety in numbers, but the more turtles that hatch the more help they have to dig through the sand. The second part of this technique means that regardless of how late the wet season is, they will always hatch once it has started to rain. Rather than hatching before the rain in a late wet.

Behaviour

Pig-nosed turtles are almost entirely aquatic. Little is known about general behaviour as there have been few studies in the wild. Their aggressive behavior in captivity suggests that this species is markedly more territorial than most other turtles and tortoises. Though they seem to be able to have a degree of social structure in the way that they conduct themselves during the cold dry season around the thermal vents that line some river systems they inhabit.

In captivity

Pig-nosed turtles have become available through the exotic pet trade, with a few instances of captive breeding. While juveniles are small and grow slowly, their high cost and large potential size makes them suitable only for experienced aquatic turtle keepers. They tend to be shy and prone to stress also getting sick easily, which can cause problems with their feeding, but they are known to eat commercially available processed turtle pellets or trout chow, as well as various fruits and vegetables. Breeding is rarely an option to the hobbyist, as adults are highly aggressive and will attack each other in all but the largest enclosures.

Smuggle

Although the pig-nosed turtles are protected under Law No. 5/1990 on Natural Resources and Ecosystems Conservation smuggle is frequent occur. Some 10,908 turtles captured from smugglers were release into their habitat in the Wania River, Papua Province, Indonesia at December 30, 2010. And in March 2009, more than 10,000 turtles captured from smugglers were also release into Otakwa River in the Lorentz National Park.[4]

References

1. ^ Ramsay, E.P. 1886. On a new genus and species of fresh water tortoise from the Fly River, New Guinea. proceedings of the Linnaean Society of New South Wales. (2)1:158-162.(Read Full Paper)
2. ^ a b c Obst, Fritz Jurgen (1998). Cogger, H.G. & Zweifel, R.G.. ed. Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 118. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.
3. ^ Georges, A. & Thomson, S. 2010. Diversity of Australasian freshwater turtles, with an annotated synonymy and keys to species. Zootaxa 2496: 1–37.
4. ^ http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/1293785089/over-10-000-pig-nose-turtles-released-into-habitat

* Species Carettochelys insculpta at The Reptile Database

* IUCN Red list of Threatened Species: Carettochelys insculpta

Biology Encyclopedia

Reptiles Images

Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies, Wikipedia: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Index

Scientific Library - Scientificlib.com