The Pig-nosed Turtle looks like a marine turtle and a snapper combined. Their rare appearance made them popular, causing many to be captured as pets. They are disappearing because they were also captured as food, and because of the effects of environmental destruction.
Tortoise Shell: Over 70cm
(Source: Doubutsu Sekai-isan* Red Data Animals Kodansha) (*World Animal Heritage)
Pig-nosed Turtles live in the rivers of Northern Australia and New Guinea.
They eat leaves and fruits growing along the river bank, as well as water plants and small animals that live in the water.
As the name implies, the nose of the Pig-nosed Turtle extends outward and looks like the snout of a pig.
Rare appearance draws attention, leads to capture as pets...
The Pig-nosed Turtle lives in the rivers of Australia and New Guinea. Their soft shell resembles that of Snappers, but otherwise they primarily live in water except when laying eggs, and thus have feet shaped like the flippers on a marine turtle. This unique appearance made the turtle popular, and resulted in many being exported as pets, particularly to Japan. Unfortunately, they are difficult to breed domestically, and many are thought to have lived only short lives. Another reason for their declining number is that they have been captured in large numbers as a traditional local source of food.
Safe river habitats are disappearing!
Environmental destruction also threatens the Pig-nosed Turtle. The river bed essential for the turtle to lay eggs has been destroyed by water buffalo bathing in the water. People brought the water buffalo to the area. Additionally, the river water has become polluted and is running low due to the activities of nearby factories and mines. Today, safe and natural habitats for the Pig-nosed Turtles are disappearing rapidly.
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