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Big-Headed Turtle: Platysternidae

Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And ReproductionGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, BIG-HEADED TURTLES AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

The big-headed turtle lives in China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The big-headed turtle is rare and has been found only in small mountain streams from southern China to Thailand and southern Myanmar. These turtles appear to be very particular about the type of stream, living only in rock-bottomed, cool waters and only in mountainous regions up to 6,600 feet (2,000 meters).

Some people consider the meat of the big-headed turtle a delicacy, so the turtles face threats from hunters. Other people collect the turtles for use in folk medicines. Despite their tendency to bite, these turtles are fairly popular pets.

According to the World Conservation Union (IUCN) the bigheaded turtle is Endangered because of overcollection. Endangered means that this species is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Books:

Burnie, David, and Don E. Wilson, eds. Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley, 2001.

Web sites:

Kirkpatrick, David T. "The Big-headed Turtle, Platysternon megacephalum." www.unc.edu/dtkirkpa/stuff/bigheads.html (accessed on August 6, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other Reptiles