This large freshwater
turtle inhabits streams in forests and agricultural areas. By day it lies
hidden in stream margins, but at night it becomes active searching for food.
The carapace, which is
oval-rounded in shape, is of variable colour and sometimes bears
lighter spots. The species is most easily identified by the spotted pattern
of the head. The neck is long, thick and flexible. The forefeet in
particular bear extremely sharp claws used for digging in muddy or sandy
sediments. Its diet is variable and includes insects, crustaceans, fish,
vegetation and carrion.
The Asiatic Soft-shell
Turtle is wide-ranging from Burma, Thailand and Indochina to Peninsular
Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, Sumatra and Java.
Fig 1 : Juvenile with mottled and speckled
carapace measuring 15 cm, in a shallow forest stream filled with leaf
Fig 2 : The markings on the carapace serve as excellent camouflage.
Fig 3 : The snout is elongated and pig-like.
Fig 4 : Adult diving for cover in a shallow forest stream, Singapore.
Family : TRIONYCHIDAE
Species : Amyda cartilaginea
Maximum Carapace Length : 75 cm
References : H1, H2, H3