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Pig-Nosed Turtle

Pig-Nosed Turtle

Carettochelys insculpta

National Aquarium – Pig-Nosed Turtle National Aquarium – Pig-Nosed Turtle National Aquarium – Pig-Nosed Turtle National Aquarium – Pig-Nosed Turtle

These reptiles are aptly named: The nose actually does resemble that of a pig, with nostrils at the front of a fleshy, protruding snout. The pig-nosed turtle’s carapace (shell) and limbs may be gray to olive green. Its plastral (bottom shell) color is light—white, cream or yellowish. Males have larger tails than the females, making them easy to identify.

Females lays their eggs in nests dug into sandbars that are exposed during the dry season. The eggs develop fully but do not hatch until exposed to the first rains of the wet season.

Did You Know?

This is the only freshwater turtle that has flippers like a sea turtle.


Pig-nosed turtles are omnivorous but prefer more plant than animal matter. Their natural diet is mostly made up of the fruit and leaves of the wild fig.


This reptile can grow to a weight of 50 pounds and a length of 22 inches.


These turtles are found in northern Australia, Irian Jaya and southern New Guinea. Their habitat includes rivers, estuaries, lagoons, lakes, swamps and pools.

Population Status

Although once believed to be extremely rare, these turtles are common within their range. There have been declines in some areas, and Australia has taken steps to protect the species from exploitation. Their meat is not generally found in fish markets, but in some areas they are caught and killed by fishermen because they are considered pests that raid bait intended for catching other species.

They are also found in the pet trade, although they quickly outgrow most hobbyist tanks!

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