They look like olive gray/brown turtles, specifically...
small to normal sized head
upturned, pointed nose
smooth/dark shell, and a
light plastron (underneath the shell)
They weigh about 44 lbs.
Shell size is 2 feet!
Males Females Lighter head, neck, and legs Bigger body size Thinner tail Straight plastron Darker head, neck, and legs Smaller body size Thicker tail Curved plastron
Reproduction Gestation- 70-112 days in the egg. There are about 1-3 clutches per season. Each clutch has about 10-30 eggs. The parents don’t stay with the young.
Where do they live?
Sumatra, Thailand, Burma, and the Malay Peninsula (Asia).
The habitat is wet, sandy, and a rocky coast.
They are terrestrial and aquatic.
They nest on sandy banks.
What do they eat?
They are omnivores.
Wild River Terrapins eat mangrove fruit, mollusks, crustaceans, and fish.
Zoo River Terrapins eat 50% dark greens- endive, spinach, kale, ect.
Commercial River Terrapins eat chow and incidental chopped fish.
This turtle is religiously significant to and is caught by Burmese Buddhists who capture them, decorate their carapace (hard upper-shell), and release them into the wild with great ceremony.
Although laws are being enacted to protect the River Terrapin, the large eggs are commercially valuable as food. Resulting in the animal being included on the CITES 1 and the USDI (E) lists. This means that the animal is endangered.
They have 4 front toes, most other turtles have 5.
Physical Adaptations 1-5
A shell, for camouflage to stay hidden from predators.
A shell, for protection from predators and the sun.
Webbed toes, for fast swimming, to escape predators
Webbed toes, to push themselves across the sand.
Smooth plastron, to slide across the sand (females).
The River Terrapin has:
Physical Adaptations 6-10
Smooth shell, for fast swimming, to escape predators.
Longer toes, for pushing and digging sand or pebbles to find food and dig nests.
Upturned nose, to stay hidden from a predator while breathing.
Lays soft-shell eggs, so if one egg falls on top of another they won’t crack.
Hydrodynamic shape, for fast swimming to escape predators.
Behavioral Adaptations 1-5
Are less active if they want to hold their breath longer.
Dig in the sand to hide or find food.
Sit in the sun to maintain their body temperature.
Hold their breath to float in the water.
Let air out to dive deeper in the water.
Improvements to the zoo
I think that the River Terrapin’s habitat can be improved in these ways :
They should include more spots of light, so the River Terrapin can maintain it’s body temperature.
They should make the land portion of the exhibit bigger because the River Terrapin is aquatic AND terrestrial. Also they need a bigger area to nest.
3. In the exhibit they should make the water section bigger, because the River Terrapin has many physical features (webbed toes, smooth shell, hydrodynamic shape) that help it swim fast. You need a bigger space to swim fast.
4. In the exhibit, they should add a spot just made of sand because the River Terrapin has a smooth plastron (under the shell) for sliding across the sand, if it is rocky they can’t slide.
5. In the exhibit they should also add a spot just made up with sand so the River Terrapin can dig for hunting, hiding, and nesting.