Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The African side-necked turtle

The African side-necked turtle (also known as Pelomedusidae) are found in places such as Africa, and Madagascar. While many people are a bit leery of bringing these beautiful animals into their homes, individual turtles make wonderful pets for the whole family. That is to say you are an experienced turtle owner; as these turtles aren’t for the beginner turtle owner!

They are usually found within freshwater lakes and rivers; making it important to offer them some fresh water to swim in within their enclosure. Fortunately, there are many vets and reptile specialists that understand enough about these turtles to help you create the perfect habitat for one.

Despite their popularity as pets, they are even more popular with those who enjoy turtle soup. Perhaps, it is the smell that many people are turned off on. Simply because their musk glands are fully functioning and can make this turtle a little hard to sniff.

These turtles do have a tendency to nip whenever a hand gets too close, making it important for you to keep little hands out of their enclosure. With that said however, they do make great pets for adults and respectful children.

Medium-sized, sideneck turtles with five claws on the hind feet, four to eight neural bones present, the pleural bones almost always meeting at the midline behind the neurals, mesoplastral bones present, and the pelvis fused to the plastron

Up to 21.6 in (55 cm) carapace length

Number of genera, species
2 genera; 18 species

Freshwater habitats, from permanent rivers and lakes to ephemeral ponds

Conservation status
Vulnerable: 2 species

Africa, Madagascar, and the Seychelles Islands

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