With powerful, webbed feet for swimming and digging, these turtles live in freshwater swamps and dams, preferring a soft, sandy bottom with logs or rocks to bask on. When threatened, they emit a foul-smelling fluid, earning them the nickname “Stinker”.
They strike at their prey using their long neck like a snake. They are carnivorous, eating small animals and insects including frogs, fish, crayfish and molluscs. In early summer, females lay clutches of 4 to 40 eggs in the banks of their chosen aquatic habitat. They hatch in 3 to 5 months. The young turtles are often preyed upon by fish and birds. Females will lay 1 to 3 clutches of eggs per year.
Size: up to 280mm
Illustration: Mark Trinham