Oblong Turtle

Scientific Name: Chelodina oblonga
Conservation Status: Near Threatened
Carapace Length: 31–40 cm
Weight: 0.8–2 kg
Incubation: 200–230 days
Number of eggs: 8–25

Distribution: south-west Western Australia
Habitat: lakes, rivers and swamps

Description: The Oblong Turtle has a very long, thick neck. Its shell is pale to dark brown or black and usually covered with algae, making it difficult to see in water. This turtle gets its name from the oblong shape of its shell, which can grow up to 40 cm in length.

Diet: Oblong Turtles are carnivores. They eat small fish, tadpoles, insects, frogs, small crayfish, freshwater prawns and carrion. Hatchlings have been known to eat aquatic plants, insects and mosquito larvae.

In the wild: Oblong Turtles spend most of their time in the water, only allowing their nostrils and the tip of their snout to remain visible when surfacing for air. They sometimes rest on logs or rocks protruding out of the water but quickly drop back into the water if they are disturbed or sense danger. Females breed between October and February, laying up to 25 eggs, which take many months to hatch.

Threats: Female Oblong Turtles sometimes travel long distances to find suitable laying sites on land during the breeding season. During this time, the turtles are often killed by unaware drivers as they cross roads. Other threats include predation from feral animals like foxes and loss of habitat due to draining of swamps.

At Perth Zoo: The Oblong Turtle can be found in the Reptile Encounter.

Did you know? Oblong Turtles have the ability to catch live prey and are one of the quickest of the Chelodina species.

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