The Australian Reptile Park and Wildlife Sanctuary
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Eastern Long-necked Turtle

Scientific Name: Chelodina longicollis

Did You Know?

At certain times of the year long-necks often wander in search of new homes. This often brings them in contact with roads and fatalities and injuries from motor vehicles are common. As long as there are no severe internal injuries, a cracked or broken shell may be repaired with artificial materials such as fibreglass before the animal is released back into the wild.

Also referred to as a snake-necked turtle, the eastern long-neck's shell will eventually grow to around 25cm in length, with its neck almost the same length. The upper shell or carapace can vary in colour from light reddish-brown to almost black, while the lower shell or plastron is usually creamy-yellow, sometimes with other dark brown markings. The feet have strong claws and are webbed for swimming. The jaws are made of hard, horn-like material and, if provoked, can deliver a painful bite.

Habitat:

This is an extremely common turtle in eastern Australia, while other long-necked species occur in northern and western Australia. They inhabit almost any type of relatively slow moving water body from farm dams to major rivers and lakes.

Diet:

These turtles prey mostly on fish, tadpoles, frogs and crayfish. The long neck is used like a snake to rapidly strike at passing prey. Large food items are torn apart by the strong front claws.

Reproduction:

The female lays between 4-20 hard-shelled eggs during spring and early summer in an excavation in the bank of a swamp or stream. The young tortoises usually hatch after an incubation time ranging from three to eight months. Some females may produce two or three clutches in one season.

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