Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtle

Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtle

Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtle
Podocnemis unifilis


CLASS
Reptilia
ORDER
Testudines
FAMILY
Podocnemididae

Range

Amazon and Orinoco river systems in South America


Habitat

Tributaries and lakes; flooded forests


Diet

Fruit and plant material including fish and small invertebrates

Weight

MALE 5 - 10 lbs.
FEMALE 11.5 - 25 lbs.

Carapace Length

MALE 8 - 15 in.
FEMALE 15 - 20 in.

Incubation

66 days

Clutch

Up to 36 eggs

IUCN Status

Vulnerable

CITES

Appendix II

Facts

  • They are considered side-necked turtles because they cannot pull their heads into their shells.
  • Characterized by its dark upper shell and yellow spots on the head, which fade with age.
  • One of the largest South American river turtles.
  • 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.
  • Very aquatic. Come out of the water only to bask.
  • Females lay their eggs in the peak of the dry season and the nests are sometimes destroyed by rising flood waters.

 

Conservation

The greatest threat to this species has been the Yekuana Indians, who regularly consumed them as a food source. The number of non-Indian poachers increased as demand for turtle eggs and meat increased.

Vulnerable

Open Daily 9 am - 5 pm

Closed only Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year's Day

Address

Alexandria Zoo
3016 Masonic Drive
Alexandria, LA 71301
P: (318) 441-6810

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