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Chinese Softshell Turtle

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Species group:

Other common names: Asiatic Soft Shelled Turtle

Scientific name: Pelodiscus sinensis

The basics:
The Chinese Softshell Turtle is an aquatic turtle which is native to China, Taiwan, Korea, Manchuria, North Vietnam and Japan. In Asia it has long been used as a food, largely consumed as turtle soup, and for its supposed medicinal benefits. Because of its commercial value, millions of Chinese Softshell Turtles are raised in turtle farms each year. It is also a popular pet, especially in Europe.

Appearance / health:
The Chinese Softshell Turtle is a member of the Softshell Turtle family (Trionychidae). Softshell Turtles have carapaces which are leathery and pliable, and which lack horny scutes (scales). The Chinese Softshell Turtle has a long snout and tubelike nostrils. When resting, it lies at the bottom, buried in sand or mud, and is able to lift its head to breathe air or grab prey.