Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Eastern Long-necked Turtle

Chelodina longicollis
It's easy to see where this animal gets its name-- the Eastern Long-necked Turtle has a neck that can be nearly as long as their carapace! These necks are so long that they aren't pulled directly back into the carapace. They bend in sideways.

These Australian natives have flat carapaces that grow to around 8in in length and are colored in shades that range from black to brown to green. Their undersides (plastrons) are cream colored with very distinctive black lines.

You can find these Turtles living in slow moving freshwater streams and ponds. They have powerful webbed feet that allow them to dig and swim with ease, and they spend a good deal of time basking on rocks and logs. In the wild Long-necked Turtles are 100% carnivorous, feeding on insects, mollusks, tadpoles, fish, and other small creatures. When the Turtles themselves feel threatened, they secrete a stinky fluid from their musk glands. This gives them one of their other common names-- "Stinker."

Eastern Long-necked Turtles can be kept as pets, but they require a good deal of space, as well as a long commitment. These guys can live for decades!

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Australia
Size : Carapace length around 8in (20cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Sauropsida -- Order : Testudines
Family : Chelidae -- Genus : Chelodina -- Species : C. longicollis

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