Rivers and Streams Animals

Arrau River Turtle
Arrau River Turtle
Class: Reptilia: Reptiles Diet: Plants
Order: Chelonia: Turtles and Tortoises
Size: 961 - 76 cm (24 - 30 in)
Family: Pelomedusidae: Greaved Turtles Conservation Status: Lower risk-Conservation dependent
Scientific Name: Podocnemis expansa Habitat: Orinoco and Amazon River systems
Range: Northern South America

Size of Arrau River TurtleThe largest of the side-necks, the arrau turtle may weigh over 45 kg (100 lb). Females have wide, flattened shells and are larger and more numerous than males. Adults feed entirely on plant matter.  The nesting habits of these turtles are similar to those of sea turtles in that they gather in large numbers to travel to certain suitable nesting areas. They lay their eggs on sandbanks which are exposed only in the dry season, and there are relatively few such sites. The females come out onto the sandbanks at night, and each lays as many as 90 or 100 softshelled eggs. They then return to their feeding grounds. The hatchlings, which are about 5 cm (2 in) long, emerge to the attentions of many predators; even without man's activities, only about 5 percent reach adult feeding grounds.  Uncontrolled hunting of adults and excessive collecting of eggs have seriously reduced the population of this turtle. It is now an endangered species and is protected in most areas.

Range of Arrau River Turtle
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