Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtle Podocnemis unifilis
Amazon and Orinoco river systems in South America
Tributaries and lakes; flooded forests
Fruit and plant material including fish and small invertebrates
MALE 5 - 10 lbs. FEMALE 11.5 - 25 lbs.
MALE 8 - 15 in. FEMALE 15 - 20 in.
Up to 36 eggs
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.
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.
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