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Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
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Short Necked Turtle

Short necked turtle
Photo: Courtesy of Damon Ramsey
 BSc.(Zool) Biologist Guide


Other Names: Australian River tortoises: Emydura spp.

  • There are at least 5 species of this genus (Cogger 2000).

  • They look and behave similar to their close relatives the 'Australian snapping' or 'Saw-shelled turtles' in the genus Elseya.

  • Like those, they have moderately short necks with largish heads.

  • Also like the snapper/saw-shells, they are found in creeks and lagoons in Australia and New Guinea.

  • Here they can often be seen basking on logs and the sides of waterways; if disturbed, they drop into the nearby water with a splash and disappear.

  • For many observers, this is the only evidence that they are around.

  • However unlike the Elseya, they often have a small, pale stripe on the face behind the eye (above).

  • They are also generally smaller than the Elseya.

  • They are often called the 'short-necked turtles' to distinguish them from the 'long-neck turtles' or 'snake-necked turtles' of the same family that are also common in Australian waterways.
    Script: Courtesy of  Damon Ramsey BSc.(Zool) Biologist Guide


'Krefft's River Turtle' Emydura krefftii

  • The most common turtle found in small creeks along the Daintree coast.

  • A medium sized turtle with a shell up to about 30cm, a short neck, and usually has a yellow streak on the face behind the eye.

  • It is found in streams and associated pools of water along the east-coast from central Queensland to Northern Queensland.

  • If you can sneak up on them, they can be seen basking on rock or logs in the smaller streams where they are quite common.

  • They tend to be rarer in the larger more open rivers where there are crocodiles.

Script: Courtesy of  Damon Ramsey BSc.(Zool) Biologist Guide

Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges
Lake Eacham, Atherton Tablelands
Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
PH & Fax: 07 4095 3754 International: 61 7 4095 3754

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