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Spiny Softshell Turtle

Apalone spinifera
  • Male: 12.15-23.5cm; female 18-43.2cm
  • Carapace is flat and olive-grey to brown; yellow border edged in black around margin of carapace
  • Males and juvenile turtles have large yellow spots outlined on black; females have brownish blotches
  • Small tubercles or spines on edge of shell above neck
  • Carapace in males is covered with tiny spines (like sand-paper); smooth in females
  • Plastron is yellowish-white
  • Two dark bordered, light yellow lines on each side of head
  • Very long neck; tubular "pig-like" snout
  • Legs streaked with yellow; feet are webbed
  • Often buries in sand or mud while hiding from danger or waiting for prey
  • Lays 12-18 round, white, hard-shelled eggs
  • Report sightings of this turtle to Toronto Zoo