Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spiny Turtle

Heosemys spinosa
The Spiny Turtle, also known as the Sunburst Turtle, is a land-dwelling Turtle named for the pointed spikes that extend outward from the rim of their carapace. These spines are much more pronounced in juveniles, and as adults they are most noticeable on the rear of the shell.

Spiny Turtles live in the hilly rainforests of Southeast Asia. They live relatively close to bodies of water, and feed mainly on plants and fruits. Interestingly, we know next to nothing about their wild breeding habits. In captivity it appears that breeding is triggered by the rainy season, and that the females will lay only two or three eggs per clutch. But we don't know the exact nuances of their reproductive process when left in a wild habitat.

Sadly, the Spiny Turtles are listed as endangered. They have been hunted extensively for their meat, and currently their populations are very small and are typically isolated from one another. Very little is being done to conserve the species. Unfortunately, they are also very difficult to breed in captivity.

IUCN Status : Endangered
Location : Southeast Asia
Size : Body length around 10in (24cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Sauropsida -- Order : Testudines
Family : Geoemydidae -- Genus : Heosemys -- Species : H. spinosa
Image : Ecology Asia

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