Friday, June 28, 2013
My Cousin: The Yellow Spotted Amazon River Turtle
Yellow-spotted Amazon river turtles are one of the largest South American river turtles with an average life span is 60 to 70 years.
These turtles are considered side-necked turtles, which means they cannot pull their heads into their shells, rather craning them to the side to protect themselves in the event of attack from predators.
This species can be recognized by its dark upper shell and the yellow spots that adorn its head, though these fade with age. Females can be twice as large as males. They have strongly webbed feet and an oval shell, dark on top, which is slightly domed. They can grow to a length of 20 inches and weigh around 18 pounds.
These turtles inhabit South America's Amazon River. They occupy tributaries and lakes connected to the Amazon River, though when the river floods, they will branch out to flooded forests.
These turtles eat a range of foods, from fruit and plant materials to fish and small invertebrates.
The yellow-spotted Amazon River turtle is diurnal and is most active in mid-morning and afternoon. Groups of turtles can be seen basking in the sun on logs or stones in the middle of rivers and on the shore.
As ectothermic (cold-blooded) animals, this behavior functions to warm their bodies. They are also very aquatic, only coming out of the water to bask.
Posted by Henry H. Turtle