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Monday, February 25, 2013

The Adorable Australian Pig-Nosed Flippered Freshwater Turtle

It's Day 2 of "Turtlemania" and that brings us to this little charmer right here: the pig-nosed turtle. It's also known as the Fly River turtle, but I think my title beats all of them: the adorable Australian pig-nosed flippered freshwater turtle. This turtle, Carettochelys insculpta, is the sole living member of the family Carettochelyidae, though several extinct members are known.

"Aww," says the human.
"My entire family is dead," says the turtle.

If you haven't deduced it by the images shown above, the pig-nosed turtle is truly bizarre. It combines characteristics of softshell, sea, and other freshwater turtles into some conglomerate superturtle. As made obvious by the name, the snout is pig-like and tubular, resembling the noses of the softshell turtles. They are also the only freshwater turtle to possess flippers, as like sea turtles. And the shell is similar to other freshwater turtles. They also have a permanent baby frown with a touch of smugness.

These goofy-looking turtles are found in Australia and New Guinea and are omnivorous, feeding on figs, leaves, and invertebrates. Just like snapping turtles, they are rather common in their range but have shown a decline in recent years. Below is a blurry clue for what's next.

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