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Chinese Softshell Turtle

Chinese softshell is a species of small to medium-sized turtle found in China, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, and Russia. The species is known to forage at night. It is considered a delicacy throughout its range, which has led to excessive hunting and harvesting, causing the species to be listed as Vulnerable by IUCN.

    Kingdom Animalia
    Phylum Chordata
    Subphylum Vertebrata
    Class Reptilia
    Order Testudines
    Suborder Cryptodira
    Family Trionychidae
    Subfamily Trionychinae
    Genus Pelodiscus
    Scientific Name Pelodiscus sinensis

    Size Can grow to 1 ft (30 cm)
    Color Outer shell is olive and may have dark blotches;  orange-red underside of the shell; upper surface of the head and limbs are olive with orange-red underside of the hind-limbs; dark streaks on the head with dark lines radiating from the eyes; mottled throat and there may be small dark bars on the lips
    Distribution China (including Taiwan), North Vietnam, Japan,  Korea, and Russia; Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand,  Batan Islands, Timor, Guam, and some of the Hawaiian Islands (introduced)
    Habitat Rivers, ponds, canals, lakes, and creeks with slow currents
    Diet Fish, insects, crustaceans, mollusks, seeds of marsh plants
    Hibernation Fact Hibernate during winter in the mud of the river or lake bottom
    Breeding Season June to August
    Mode of Reproduction Oviparous (egg laying)
    Clutch Size 8 to 30 eggs
    Incubation Period Around 2 months
    Reproductive Age 4 to 6 years of age
    Average Lifespan 10 to 20 years
    IUCN Conservation Status Vulnerable

    Chinese Softshell Turtle Pictures Gallery

    Published on May 2nd 2017 by under Turtles. Article was last reviewed on 14th June 2019.

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