Carettochelys insculpta  Family Carettochelyidae,  Pig-nose Turtles

DISTRIBUTION: Southern New Guinea and Kimberly Plateau of Australia.

HABITAT: Shallow, slow-moving rivers, lagoons, lakes and swamps with sandy or silty bottoms. Also in estuaries. Active nocturnally. Emerge from water only in order to nest.

APPEARANCE: Length to 75 cm. Pitted, leathery, gray-green carapace and a white plastron. Limbs are clawed and paddlelike. Short head terminates in a broad, tubular, “piglike” snout. Carapaces of juveniles have serrated perimeters and a central keel.

DIET: Opportunistic omnivores. Principal food is the fruits of shoreline trees. Eat other plant material: leaves, flowers that fall into river from banks, and aquatic algae. Also take insect larvae, mollusks and crustaceans. Scavenge fishes and mammals as carrion.

REMARKS; Australian populations were not discovered by biologists until 1969. Species first described from the Fly River of New Guinea in the 1800s. Secretive animals. Use forelimbs to burrow by scooping sand substrate over their carapace. Adults may thermoregulate underwater by lying over small thermal springs.

Only extant species in its family.

LOCATION: Waterplanet with Australian lungfish.

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