Bizarre And Exotic Pets: Weird & Unique Turtles

Mar 11th, 2009
Looking for bizarre and exotic pet? Check these unusual species of turtles.

You will surely like these awesome-looking and unique pets. Pick your choice..

1.) Black-knobbed Map Turtle (Graptemys nigrinoda)

Graptemys_nigrinoda_hatchlings.jpg

Image Source

This unique-looking turtle called the Black-knobbed Map Turtle is a species of turtle that is native to the United States. This species spends much of the day basking on fallen trees and quickly jumps into the water when approached. They seek refuge on the bottom of the river and in between the branches of the fallen trees.

2.) Eastern Long-neck Turtle (Chelodina longicollis)

800px-Eastern_Long-neck-Turtle-with-alga

Image Source

This turtle is not only bizarre because of its appearance but also due to some of its traits. When it feels threatened, Eastern Long-necked Turtle will emit an offensive smelling fluid from its musk glands that's why it's also known as "stinker." Other common names include Common snake-neck turtle, Eastern snake-neck turtle, or Common long-neck turtle and its most distinctive feature its extremely long neck. It is a type of side-necked turtle, meaning that it bends its head sideways into its shell rather than pulling it directly back.

3.) Mata mata (Chelus fimbriatus)

800px-Chelus_fimbriatus_2005.jpg

Image Source

This weird-looking creature found in South America known as Mata mata is a freshwater turtle. The appearance of the Mata mata's shell resembles a piece of bark, and its head resembles fallen leaves. It remains motionless in the water and its skin flaps enable it to blend into the surrounding vegetation until a fish comes close and will swallow it in whole because it cannot chew due to the way its mouth is constructed

4.) Argentine Snake-necked Turtle (Hydromedusa tectifera)

600px-Hydromedusa_tectifera.jpg

Image Source

This species found in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil is a popular pet in the exotic pet trade. It is also known as the South American Snake-neckedTurtle, a turtle that is known for its long neck hence the name. Despite appearances, the Argentine Snake-necked Turtle is actually more related to the Mata mata than to the Australian Snake-necked Turtles.

5.) Cantor's giant soft-shelled turtle (Pelochelys cantorii)

soft-shelled-turtle.jpg

Image Source

See another image here

This peculiar-looking species named Cantor's Giant Soft-shelled Turtle is a species of fresh water turtle that has a broad head and small eyes close to the tip of its snout. It can grow up to 6 feet (about 2 meters) in length and weigh more than 100 pounds (about 50 kilograms). The unusual turtle spends 95% of its life buried and motionless, with only its eyes and mouth protruding from the sand. It surfaces only twice a day to take a breath.

6.) Chinese Softshelled Turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis)

450px-Pelodiscus.jpg

Image Source

This species, the Chinese Soft Shelled Turtle, is the largest softshell turtle on earth. The popular "turtle soup" is made from this species. With its long snout and tube-like nostrils, the Chinese soft-shelled turtle can "snorkel" in shallow water. When resting, it lies at the bottom, buried in sand or mud, lifting its head to breathe or snatch at prey. The neck of a Chinese Softshelled Turtle is disproportionately long compared to its body size, enabling it to breathe surface air while its body remain submerged in the mud or sand a foot or more below the surface.

7.) Spiny Softshell Turtle (Apalone spinifera)

Apalone_spinifera.jpg

Image Source

This bizarre species known as Spiny Softshell Turtle found in Canada, US and Mexico is a species of softshelled turtle. It is one of the largest freshwater turtle species in the continent of North America. It gets its name from the spiny, cone-like projections on the leading edge of its shell.

8.) Big-headed Turtle (Platysternon megacephalum)

Zolw_wielkoglowy.jpg

Image Source

The Big-headed Turtle, a species with exceptionally large head, is found in China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Aside from its very large head, the Big-headed Turtle is known to readily climb trees near rivers and fast streams. This turtle uses its beak to climb. When this turtle swims, it often arcs its tail in the manner of a scorpion. Unusual for a turtle, the Big-headed Turtle cannot pull its head in its shell and in this case, it will not hesitate to use its powerful jaws to defend itself.

9.) Rote Island Snake-necked Turtle (Chelodina mccordi)

800px-Chelodina-mccordi1.JPG

Image Source

The Rote Island Snake-necked Turtle is one of the most desired turtles in the international pet trade. Even before it was scientifically described it was so over-collected that the legal trade was prohibited in 2001 due to its rarity. It is an extremely threatened turtle species from Rote Island southwest of Timor between New Guinea and Australia.

10.) Pig-nosed Turtle (Carettochelys insculpta)

Carettochelys_insculpta.jpg

Image Source

Pig-nosed Turtles have become available through the exotic pet trade, with a few instances of captive breeding. Among its common names are the Hog-nosed Turtle, Australasian Pig-nose Turtle, Pitted-shelled Turtle, Plateless Turtle and Fly River Turtle. It is a species of soft-shelled turtle endemic to freshwater streams, lagoons and rivers of Australia and New Guinea. Their high cost and large potential size makes them suitable only for experienced aquatic turtle keepers. Females do not reach maturity until at least 25 years old.

10.) Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

800px-2007SnappingTurtle.jpg

Image Source

In 2006, the Snapping Turtle was declared the state reptile of New York after being popularly chosen by the state's public elementary school children. This species is a large freshwater turtle than can be found in Canada, Mexico to Ecuador. This species and the larger Alligator Snapping Turtle are both widely referred to as snapping turtles or snappers.

Common_Snapping_Turtle_1994.jpg

Image Source

Common snappers are hunted very heavily for their meat which is a popular ingredient in turtle soup. This turtle is noted for its belligerent dispositions when out of the water, its powerful beak-like jaw and its highly mobile head and neck (hence the specific name "serpentina," meaning "snake-like"). These turtles have lived for up to 47 years in captivity, while the lifespan of wild individuals is estimated to be around 30 years.

11.) Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii)

800px-Alligator_snapping_turtle.jpg

Image Source

Alligator Snapping Turtles are one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world. This species will eat almost anything it can catch and it is also known to kill alligators, eat snakes, and even other turtles.

682px-Baby_snapping_turtle.jpg

Image Source

Alligator snapping turtles are often captive-bred as pets and are readily available in the exotic animal trade. Due to their potential size and specific needs, they do not make particularly good pets for any but the most experienced aquatic turtle keepers. The sex of the baby alligator snapping turtles depends on the temperature at which the eggs are incubated.

12.) Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

800px-LeatherbackTurtle.jpg

Image Source

This odd-looking turtle known as Leatherback Turtle is the largest of all living sea turtles and the fourth largest reptile behind three crocodilians. It has backwards spines in its throat to help it swallow food. Leatherback Turtles can dive to depths as great as 4200 feet (1,280 meters) that's why they are tagged as the world's deepest-diver reptiles. An adult average at around one to two meters long and weigh from around 250 to 700 kg. The largest ever found however was over three meters from head to tail and weighed 916 kilograms. They are also the fastest reptiles on record having achieved the speed of 9.8 meters per second or 35.28 km per hour in the water. Some of these animals are endangered and protected. Let's help in preserving and protecting these beautiful creatures although they are odd-looking. If you own one, be a responsible pet owner.

Hope you enjoyed this. Thank you!

For more aquatic pets see

For related article see

Nobert Bermosa
I grew up and studied in a wonderful place with awesomely good and industrious people. I have always been a good follower and I solemnly believe that "If you want to be a good leader, be a good follower" and I also believe that "A real…
Follow
Nobert Bermosa
I am a Secondary School Head Teacher III and just graduated my doctorate degree at Araullo University. I also contribute articles on Triond & Knoji.
Follow Send me a message
Your comments