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Location: Turtles

Tortoises and Turtles

Tortoises and Turtles
A variety of Australian freshwater turtles share an enclosure with three enormous Aldabra land tortoises at the Australia Zoo. The zoo has four species of freshwater turtle: Brisbane short-necked turtles, saw-shelled turtles, long-necked turtles and broad-shelled turtles. They have many characteristics in common; for example, they all live along the east coast of Australia and feed mainly on insects, crustaceans and fish.

At the zoo they love to bask on floating logs in a tiny stream that runs through their enclosure. At feeding time they scurry into the water and charge over for their food. They will hand-feed from the keepers, but watch those fingers! These turtles are certainly funny little characters.

Saw-shelled turtles have a serrated edge along their carapace, or shell. They are active throughout the day, basking and feeding on fruits, crustaceans, mollusks and fish in swamps, billabongs or creeks.

During courtship, which occurs throughout the year, males will approach female saw-shelled turtles with a series of head bobs. If the female is willing, she allows him to touch her vaginal opening with his snout, signaling the start of a hearty mating session.

The long-necked turtle, as its common name implies, has an extremely long, snake-like neck, which is more than half the length of its entire body!

In hunting mode the turtle holds its elongated neck sideways as it creeps within range of its prey, striking at the final moment with a snake-like quickness. Long-necked turtles feed in this way on fish, tadpoles and crustaceans, tearing larger prey into bite-sized pieces with their powerful claws.

They are generally shy, though when agitated they often release a foul-smelling, musky liquid that can be targeted at enemies from up to 3 feet away.
During the Australian summer months, groups of long-necked turtles will sometimes migrate overland in search of new rivers, streams, swamps or lagoons.
The tortoise and turtle enclosure is also home to a trio of male Aldabra land tortoises: Jarvis, Igloo and Goliath. If you'd like to know about Aldabra tortoises, please visit Coconut's enclosure. Don't be shy she's very friendly!
Name: Saw-Shelled Turtle (Elseya latisternum)
Primary Classification: Chelonia (Tortoises and Turtles)

Location: Eastern Australia.

Habitat: Swamps, billabongs and creeks.

Diet: Fruits, crustaceans, mollusks and fish.

Size: Up to 11 inches in length.

Description: Skin is black to olive green to chestnut brown in color. Shell is deep orange to brown with darker blotches. Large head with protruding snout. Short neck with large, pointed tubercles, or knobs. Broad, flat, oval carapace, or shell, with a serrated edge at the tail.

Conservation Status: Common
Name: Long-Necked Turtle, aka Eastern Snake-Necked Turtle (Chelodina longicollis)

Primary Classification: Chelonia (Tortoises and Turtles)

Location: Eastern and southern Australia.

Habitat: Slow-moving rivers, streams, swamps and lagoons.

Diet: Mainly fish, tadpoles and crustaceans.

Size: Up to 10 inches in length and 2.5 lbs in weight.

Description: Dark brown to black carapace, or shell. Yellowish, white or cream underneath with black lines. Small head with short snout. Extremely long neck with tubercles, or knobs. Flat, smooth shell. Clawed, webbed feet.

Conservation Status: Common

Rate:  (4.5)

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Surfers Feedbacks

04. nesting area survey of fresh water turtle in mahanadi river. / janmejay sethy (03/01/2007)
03. How i know abt my Turtel.and it's habitat / rhishiraj (02/10/2006)
02. Can you help me sex my turtles and is where i keep them suitable for breeding / Brenden Pfeffer (03/09/2006)
01. turtles / nettie (04/08/2006)

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