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softshell turtles


Softshell turtles are found in North America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and some islands in southeast Asia. There are about 25 species in this group. They generally live in still or slow moving water with muddy bottoms. They don’t often bask in the sun, as many other aquatic turtles do. Softshell turtles are usually carnivorous, eating fish, insects, mollusks, and amphibians. They are easy to recognize because of their flattened, leathery looking carapace (the topmost shell of a turtle) and their long, tube-like noses. There are 3 species in North America and 1 in Michigan.

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

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. "Trionychidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 24, 2024 at

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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