Pig Nose Flying Turtle (Carettochelys Insculpta)
IUCN: Red List: Vulnerable
Pig nose turtles are truly one of a kind among freshwater turtles. Where one would normally find webbed feet, these turtles have adapted flippers to help them traverse gracefully in large bodies of water. Another distinguishing trait is its long & fleshy nostrils which resembles that of a pig’s nose, giving this species of turtle its very apt name.
They are endemic to Papua New Guinea but can also be found in Northern Australia as well as southern Indonesia. They typically prefer warm bodies of water & have been observed in rivers & lakes. Pig nose turtles are predominantly carnivorous, making use of their strong jaws to crush crustaceans as well as fish.
Their flipper-feet adaptation has made them incredibly powerful swimmers well adapted to escaping from predators in their native environment. Using their muscular forelegs, they are able to propel themselves forward while their tail acts as a rudder, providing them great maneuverability in the presence of danger. They are one of the only reptiles whom eggs hatch underwater!
- Pig-nosed turtles are not completely aquatic. Little is known about their general behaviour, as there have been few studies in the wild. Their known extreme aggression in captivity suggests the species is markedly more territorial than most other turtles and tortoises. They seem to display a degree of social structure during the cooler dry season around the hydrothermal vents that line some river systems they inhabit.
- Feeding : C. insculpta is omnivorous, eating a wide variety of plant and animal matter, including the flowers, fruit and leaves of figs, as well as crustaceans, molluscs and insects.
- Breeding: Females of C. insculpta reach maturity at 18 or more years, and males around 16 years. They lay their eggs late in the dry season on sandy river banks. When the offspring are fully developed, they will stay inside the eggs in hibernation until conditions are suitable for emergence. Hatching may be triggered when the eggs have been flooded with water or by a sudden drop in air pressure signaling an approaching storm.
- Using environmental triggers, along with vibrations created by other hatching turtles in the same clutch, gives a better chance for survival. Using a universal trigger rather than simply waiting for incubation to finish means they all hatch at the same time. This provides safety in numbers; also, the more turtles that hatch, the more help they have to dig through the sand to the surface.
Fish & other small aquatic animals
|Origin:||N.Australia &S.New Guinea|
|Size:||Up to 7Ocm|
|Weight:||Up to 30kg|
|Lifespan:||Up to 30years|