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Softshell Turtles: Trionychidae

Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Spiny Softshell (apalone Spinifera): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, DIET, SOFTSHELL TURTLES AND PEOPLE


Members of this family live in North America, Africa, and Asia.

Most of these turtles are almost completely meat-eaters, and they eat anything they happen to come across, whether it is alive or dead. Once in a while, they will eat plants. A few species hunt by ambush, which means that the softshell turtle waits in hiding underwater — usually buried just under the bottom — for a fish or other water-living animal to swim by and then juts out its long neck and quickly grabs it with its mouth.

People hunt softshell turtles for food and to make traditional medicines. While many countries now have laws to protect at least some species, illegal hunting continues.

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Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other Reptiles