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Common Snake-Necked Tortoise

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Kate Munday

on 9 August 2015

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Transcript of Common Snake-Necked Tortoise

Common Snake-Necked Tortoise
The common snake-necked tortoises are an average sized tortoise, with a length of 25cm. They typically have a black-light brown carapace (shell) with a shallow central groove, and dark grey-brown limbs, and a small and pointed head with a long neck. Female tortoises are larger than the males, with a deeper shell. Females also have a short fat tail, which is hidden beneath their carapace. The plastron (bottom of the shell) has different names for each of the parts - Humeral shield, gular shield, intergul shield, pectoral shield, abdominal shield, femoral shield and anal shield.
Common snake-necked tortoises breed once annually, from September through to October. They lay between 8 and 24 hard shelled eggs, ~ 20mm wide and 30mm in length. Each egg typically weighs between 6 to 7 grams. Young hatch from January through to late April. The females bury their eggs in the soil, digging with their hind feet and then covering the eggs back over. To compact the soil they drop their body weight on top. After the young hatch, they will move towards the darkness of the water for protection. Young tortoises differ in colour from a mature tortoise and can be distinguished by a red or orange plastron.
Common snake-necked tortoises feed most actively during early mornings and late afternoons. The young feed on mosquito larvae, small crustaceans and weeds whilst it is common for adults to feed on molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic insects. As they have strong front claws, they eat larger food items by tearing it apart. Their long neck is used like a snake, to quickly strike at passing prey.
The common snake-necked tortoise (chelodina longicollis, or
otherwise known as 'stinker') is a vertebrate animal. They are an animal native to Australia, and most typically found in the eastern areas of Australia. They are classified as a reptile in biology.
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Testudine
Order: Testudine
Suborder: Pleurodira
Family: Chelidae
Subfamily: Chelodininae
Genus: Chelodina
Subgenus: Chelodina
Species: C. (C.) longicollis
Extra Information
They live in freshwater environments - rivers, ponds, lakes, swamps and farm dams. It is common for them to stay on the floor of the body of water they're in, although it isn't uncommon for them to venture above ground, and bask in the sunlight on logs and stones. In winter months, when it comes time to hibernate, some of them move to above ground, but others stay beneath the water.
~ The reasoning behind their nickname, Stinker, is because when they are being handled or are feeling threatened, they can produce a foul smelling fluid, shooting it up to two feet (60.96 cm).
~ Their typical life span, in both the wild and captivity, is between 31-37 years.
~ Their eggs are sometimes eaten by water-rats and lizards,and hatchlings by fish and birds.
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