Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Superfamily: Testudinoidea
Family: Geoemydidae

Genus/species: Heosemys spinose

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The sharp, pointed, spiky-edged carapace, and spiny keel are unique to this turtle. See photo at  Arkive
It is thought that this spiny ‘armour’ acts as a deterrent to predators, such as snakes. However, the, strongly-serrated carapace edge and spiny keel become worn down and are lost with age, so that larger individuals are much smoother than juveniles and less likely to be needed.
The carapace is brown with a pale streak down the central keel, and the head and limbs are greyish-brown, usually with a yellow to red spot behind the eye and similar-coloured speckling on the legs.

Length carapace; up to 220 mm (8.6 in)
Weight up to 2 kg (6.6 lbs)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Southeast Asia, from Thailand and possibly southern Myanmar southward through Malaysia to Sumatra, Borneo and Natuna, numerous small Indonesian Islands and the Philippines.
This semi-aquatic species is found in shallow, wooded mountain streams, but spends considerably time on land foraging or burrowing amongst the leaf litter of the forest floor.

DIET IN THE WILD: Apparently herbivorous in the wild, preferring fruits and vegetables, but will accept some animal foods in captivity.

The spiny turtle is in grave danger of extinction due to over-collection from the wild for the Asian food market and international pet trade, as well as being threatened by the destruction of its habitat.
This species is difficult to breed in captivity but some institutions have been successful bred. (Atlanta and Knoxville Zoos in the US., and Durell Wildlife in Jersey, Europe


California Academy of Sciences Rainforest (L2) 2018

Ron’s flickr

IUCN Red List August 2017.

Ecology Asia.


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