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Chinese Soft Shell Turtle

Fact File

Continent: Asia
Habitat: Brackish (slightly salty) water
Length: 30cm
Diet: Herbivore (eats plants)
Gestation: 60+ days
Number of Young: 8-30


Chinese Softshell Turtle

Pelodiscus sinensis

Animals — Sauropsida (reptiles) — Testudines (turtles) — Trionychidae (softshell turtles)

Chinese softshell turtles are so named because they lack scutes (the scale patches other turtles have on their shells) and their shell is pliable at the sides. They can reach 41cm in length.

They can ‘snorkel’ with their tube-like nostrils and long snout. If provoked, they can excrete a foul smelling liquid from pore on the edge of their shells.

They are found in China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan and Russia, inhabiting brackish water, including rivers, lakes, ponds, canals, and creeks with slow currents. They are predominantly carnivorous and may eat fish, crustaceans, molluscs, insects and plant seeds.