Chinese Soft-shelled Turtle
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The Chinese Soft Shelled Turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis), formerly known as Trionyx sinensis, was described by Wiegmann in 1835.
There is a subspecies japonicus which is sometimes erroneously listed as Pelodiscus japonica.
The Chinese soft-shelled turtle can reach a carapace length of 1 foot (30.3 cm). It has webbed feet for swimming.
It forages at night, taking crustaceans, molluscs, insects, fish, and amphibians.
With its long snout and tubelike 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 Chinese soft-shelled turtle is found in China, Taiwan, Korea, Manchuria, North Vietnam and Japan. It is difficult to determine its native range due to the long tradition of use as a food and "tonic" and subsequent spread by migrating people. The Chinese soft-shelled turtle has been introduced to Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Timor, Batan Islands, Guam, some of the Hawaiian Islands and California.
17 to 28 eggs are laid per clutch, two to four times a year.
These turtles can be injured if they are dropped or hit, and are susceptible to shell fungus.
Turtles as human food
Turtle soup is made from this species.