Indian softshell turtle

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Indian softshell turtle
Indian softshell turtle (Nilssonia gangetica) Babai River.jpg
Babai River, Nepal
Nilssonia gangetica.jpg
Immature (the dark eyespots on the carapace are indistinct or absent in adults)[1]
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Trionychidae
Genus: Nilssonia
N. gangetica
Binomial name
Nilssonia gangetica
(Cuvier, 1825)[2][3]
  • Trionyx gangeticus Cuvier, 1825
  • Trionyx javanicus Gray, 1831
  • Testudo gotaghol Buchanan-Hamilton, 1831 (nomen nudum)
  • Aspidonectes gangeticus Wagler, 1833
  • Gymnopus duvaucelii Duméril & Bibron, 1835
  • Tyrse gangetica Gray, 1844
  • Trionyx gangetiga Gray, 1873 (ex errore)
  • Isola gangetica Baur, 1893
  • Aspideretes gangeticus Hay, 1904
  • Trionyx gangeticus mahanaddicus Annandale, 1912
  • Gymnopus duvaucelli Smith, 1931
  • Amyda gangetica Mertens, Müller & Rust, 1934
  • Trionix gangeticus Richard, 1999

The Indian softshell turtle (Nilssonia gangetica), or Ganges softshell turtle is a species of softshell turtle. It lives in rivers such as the Ganges and Mahanadi in India and Bangladesh. Its shell can be up to 94 cm (37 in) in length.[1] It feeds mostly on fish, amphibians, carrion and other animal matter, but also eats aquatic plants.[1] The turtle is listed as a vulnerable species.[3]

The turtle has a long neck and a long nose, which means it is able to easily keep the tip of the nose out of the water to breathe.[5] It has an oval shaped shell, which is also fairly flat and smooth which means it is able to swim very fast.[5]

These turtles are often kept in the temple ponds of Odisha where they are considered sacred.[6]

The Indian softshell turtle is under threat as 30 to 40 tons of turtle meat is sold in markets every week.[5] The shells are also used to make masks, which are sold to tourists.[5] The turtles' habitat is also being changed by the building of dams, drainage works, and increasing levels of fishing and farming.[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ernst, C.H.; Altenburg, R.G.M.; and Barbour, R.W. (1997). Aspideretes gangeticus Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Turtles of the World. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Template:Harnvb
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Nilssonia gangetica from the Redlist
  4. Fritz Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World" (PDF). Vertebrate Zoology. 57 (2): 310. ISSN 1864-5755. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 December 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Nilssonia gangetica | ARKive: Ganges soft-shelled turtle videos, photos and facts - Nilssonia gangetica | ARKive Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, accessdate: December 21, 2015
  6. Annandale, Nelson; Shastri, Mahamahopadhyaya Haraprasad (1914). "Relics of the worship of mud-turtles (Trionychidae) in India and Burma". Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal: 131–138.