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The Eastern Snake-necked Turtle ()

Eastern Snake-necked Turtle

The Eastern Snake-necked Turtle

The eastern snake necked turtle lives in swamps and slow moving waters in eastern Australia and can live to be 50 years old.  Its shell is a brown color with black edges measures up to 30 cm, (1 foot), long.  The underside of the shell is lighter in color and has black lines.  This turtle got its name from its extremely long neck,  which can be the full length of the shell.  Unlike other turtles, the eastern snake necked turtle bends it's neck under it's shell to hide and hunt.  It will approach its prey with its head sideways and when it is at close range it will snap its neck like a snake to catch its prey.  Since this turtle is carnivorous its diet consists of insects, worms, tadpoles, frogs and small fish that it either swallows whole or shreds into pieces with its front paws.






The female turtle lays about ten eggs in the summer in a hole on the bank of the swamp or stream that she covers with the help of her paws and rear of her body.  After three to five months the eggs that have survived the the water rats and lizards hatch and the try to make their way to the water,this time without being eaten by birds.  The female turtles can lay eggs up to three times a year.

The eastern snake necked turtle is also known as “the stinker”.  When it is disturbed or in danger it will emit a fowl smell  from its glands that can be sprayed up to three feet to repel its predators.  Once in a while between December and February the turtle will migrate to find a new home.  It will also dig itself in mud to survive droughts. 

These turtles also make great pets and will grow so accustomed to you within weeks that they will feed from your hands.  They will even eat dry and canned dog food.

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