Pig-nosed Turtle: Learn About This Unique Species and Its Habitat

While the pig-nosed turtle may not be as well-known as its reptilian counterparts, it is just as fascinating to learn about as the red footed tortoise.

Introduction to the Pig-Nosed Turtle

The pig-nosed turtle is a unique and fascinating species of turtle that is found in the Northern Territory of Australia. It is also known by its scientific name, Carettochelys insculpta. This turtle is a freshwater species and is the only species of its kind in the world.

Where Can the Pig-Nosed Turtle Be Found?

The pig-nosed turtle is found in the Northern Territory of Australia, primarily in the rivers and streams of the Alligator Rivers region. It is also found in the rivers and streams of the Victoria and Daly River systems. The turtle is also found in some of the larger billabongs and swamps of the region.

What Makes the Pig-Nosed Turtle Unique?

The pig-nosed turtle is unique in many ways. It has a distinctive pig-like snout and webbed feet, which make it highly adapted for life in the water. It also has a unique shell, which is made up of two pieces, rather than the single piece that is found in other species of turtles. This makes the pig-nosed turtle an incredibly interesting species to observe and study.

Key Facts Numbers
Scientific Name Carettochelys insculpta
Size Up to 70 cm
Weight Up to 20 kg
Lifespan Up to 25-30 years
Range Northern Australia and Southern New Guinea

The pig-nosed turtle, also known as the Fly River turtle, is often confused with the South American snapping turtle, which can be found in the Amazon basin. To learn more about the South American snapping turtle, check out this informative article from Desert Scorpions: south american snapping turtle.


The pig-nosed turtle is one of the most unique looking turtles in the world. It has a flat and wide carapace, or shell, and a wide, pig-like nose. The shell is usually yellowish-brown, with black and yellow spots. The spots on the carapace are distinct and can be used to identify individual turtles. The underside of the shell is usually more yellow than the top.


The pig-nosed turtle has a wide range of colors. The carapace is usually yellowish-brown, but can also be olive green, dark brown, or even black in some individuals. The underside of the shell is usually more yellow than the top. The skin and head of the turtle can be dark green, brown, or even black. The eyes are usually gold or yellow.


Pig-nosed turtles can reach a maximum size of up to 70 cm in shell length. Females tend to grow larger than males. The average weight of an adult pig-nosed turtle is between 15 and 20 kg. It is important to note that the growth rate of the pig-nosed turtle is slow, and it can take up to 10 years for them to reach full size.
The pig-nosed turtle, also known as the Fly River turtle, is a unique species of turtle that is native to Australia and Papua New Guinea, but if you’re interested in learning more about another fascinating turtle species, check out the red necked pond turtle.

My Private Notes

My experience with the Pig-nosed Turtle is something that I won’t forget! I remember the first time I encountered one of these amazing creatures. It was truly an incredible experience, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

If you’re considering owning a Pig-nosed Turtle, here are some important tips I’ve learned through the years:

  • Choose the right tank. These turtles need a large tank with plenty of room to move around. A 75-gallon tank is the minimum, and be sure to have plenty of hiding spots and basking areas.
  • Set up the right environment. Pig-Nosed Turtles need a warm and humid atmosphere. Invest in a good filter, and make sure to keep the temperature and pH levels right.
  • Feed them appropriately. A proper diet is essential for a Pig-Nosed Turtle. Feed them a mix of meat and vegetables, and stay away from overfeeding.
  • Give them a basking spot. These turtles need a spot to bask and warm up. Make sure to provide them with a spot on top of the water where they can absorb UV rays.
  • Keep them safe from predators. If you live in a place where wild predators exist, make sure to take the necessary precautions to keep your pet safe.

Owning a Pig-Nosed Turtle can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only do they have a unique and fascinating appearance, but they’re also pretty low-maintenance. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy years of companionship with this remarkable species.


The pig-nosed turtle primarily lives in the northern regions of Australia, New Guinea, and southern parts of Indonesia. It prefers living in slow-moving, freshwater habitats such as swamps, marshes, and streams. They are known to travel far in search of food or to find suitable places to lay their eggs.

The pig-nosed turtle can coexist with other animals, such as fish, frogs, snakes, and other turtle species.

They are prey to larger animals such as crocodiles, snakes, and birds. They do have enemies, but they can use their unique abilities to protect themselves, such as their ability to hide in their shells and the speed and agility with which they can swim.


The pig-nosed turtle is an omnivorous species, meaning it will eat both plants and animals. It prefers to feed on aquatic plants, invertebrates, and small fish. The pig-nosed turtle will also scavenge for food if necessary.

In most cases, the pig-nosed turtle will find its food by searching around the bottom of ponds and streams. Additionally, they have been known to eat carrion if it is available.


The pig-nosed turtle has several predators, including birds of prey, large fish, and snakes. Humans are also a major threat, as the species is often hunted for food or for its shell.


The pig-nosed turtle reproduces in the same way as other turtle species, through internal fertilization. Females lay eggs in the ground, which are then incubated by the sun’s warmth. The eggs take around three months to hatch.

The pig-nosed turtle reaches sexual maturity at around 12-15 years of age. Males are usually ready to mate sooner than females. The lifespan of the pig-nosed turtle is believed to be around 25-30 years in the wild.


The conservation status of the pig-nosed turtle is classified as endangered by the IUCN. This species is threatened by multiple sources of habitat loss, primarily due to agricultural activities such as logging, farming, and human settlement. As a result, the pig-nosed turtle population has declined significantly in recent years.

Main Threats

The main threats to the pig-nosed turtle include:

  • Habitat destruction and fragmentation due to agricultural activities such as logging, farming, and human settlement.
  • Collection for the pet trade.
  • Illegal hunting for food.
  • Pollution from agricultural runoff.
  • Invasive species such as foxes and cats.

How to Protect the Pig-Nosed Turtle

There are several ways to help protect the pig-nosed turtle:

  • Support conservation organizations that are actively promoting conservation efforts for this species.
  • Avoid purchasing pet turtles from the wild, as this can contribute to the decline of wild populations.
  • Reduce your impact on the environment by reducing your use of pesticides and fertilizers, as these can have a negative impact on the turtle’s habitat.
  • Encourage the creation of protected areas for the turtle and other wildlife.
  • Educate others about the importance of conserving this species and its habitat.


The pig-nosed turtle is an interesting species of turtle with a unique appearance and behavior. It can be found in the rivers and streams of Northern Australia and southern New Guinea. It has a dark gray shell with yellowish-green spots, and it grows up to about 70 cm long. The pig-nosed turtle lives in slow-moving rivers and streams, where it feeds on insects, fish, and other aquatic creatures.

It reproduces by laying eggs, and has a lifespan of around 30 years. Unfortunately, the pig-nosed turtle is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List due to the destruction of its natural habitat and the illegal pet trade. It is important that we take steps to protect this species and its habitat so that it can continue to thrive in the wild.

People Also Ask

What is the scientific name of the pig-nosed turtle?

The scientific name of the pig-nosed turtle is Carettochelys insculpta.

What type of environment does the pig-nosed turtle prefer?

The pig-nosed turtle prefers slow-moving river habitats with plenty of vegetation.

How does the pig-nosed turtle find its food?

The pig-nosed turtle uses its long snout to dig through the mud and uncover its prey. It also uses its keen sense of smell to find food.

What is the conservation status of the pig-nosed turtle?

The pig-nosed turtle is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.

What are the main threats to the pig-nosed turtle?

The main threats to the pig-nosed turtle are habitat destruction, poaching, and pollution.

What can be done to protect the pig-nosed turtle?

To protect the pig-nosed turtle, conservation efforts should focus on protecting its habitat, enforcing laws against poaching, and reducing pollution in its environment.

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