River Turtle

June 26, 2022

Today's animal of the day is the River Turtle, which lives in slow-moving streams and rivers. River Turtles are found throughout much of Africa and Asia. They spend most of their time soaking up the sun on muddy banks. River Turtles have a great life expectancy – one turtle in Japan was reported to be 188 years old!

The popular name for this genus is derived from a common belief that these turtles live in rivers and feed on fish, an idea that seems to come from early travelers' tales.

Characteristics of River Turtles

  • River Turtles can be distinguished from other turtle species by their smooth shells, which do not have many ridges.
  • River Turtles have tiny scales on their legs and are plain-looking.
  • Their heads are relatively flat and oval in shape.
  • River turtles can grow up to about a foot in length and have a mass of about 8.5 kg.

Interesting Facts about the River Turtles

  • River Turtles are primarily aquatic animals but come out of the water to bask in the sun or look for food.
  • River Turtles have a hard time controlling their body temperature. They are often seen sunning themselves on logs or rocks, but this is only to warm up if they feel cold.
  • River Turtles' favorite food seems to be snails. They often make holes in the shells of snails and eat them from the inside out.
  • River Turtles are primarily found in Southeast Asia (Thailand and Burma).
  • In Thailand, River Turtles are used as symbols of good luck.


  1. Ted Savage

    I only hope that being a symbol of good luck will save them from being poached like so many other unfortunate creatures.

  2. Elizabeth Bellon


  3. Gail

    The turtle is beautiful (I love turtles).

  4. Sepi Abed

    Interesting facts, but I really love the color combination.

  5. Sandra A LaCroix

    Very interesting! I really enjoy reading your articles. Thank you! ( :


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