FAMILY TRIONYCHIDAE

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             Soft-shelled Turtles

With their flat disc-like bodies, long necks, pointed tubular snouts and aquatic tendencies; soft-shelled turtles are easily recognizable.  Worldwide, these turtles are represented by 15 genera and thirty species. These distinctive turtles have a range that includes North America, Africa, southern and eastern Asia, and the East Indies to New Guinea. Fossil records from the late Jurassic Period provide evidence that soft-shelled turtles once inhabited what is now Europe and South America.
 

                                                                       

                                                           The smooth soft shell turtle (Apalone mutica)

 

                                                           The spiny soft shell turtle (Apalone spinifera)