Red-head Amazon Turtle

Podocnemis erythrocephala

About This Animal

SIZE: 10 in (25 cm)

RANGE: Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela

HABITAT: Blackwater rivers and streams

DIET: Aquatic plants and fallen fruits

ON EXHIBIT:  Rivers of the World in River Journey

This species of turtle is called a side-neck because it cannot pull its head into its shell.  Instead, when threatened, the turtle tucks its head to the side.  Juveniles and adult males have a red head, but adult females tend to have brown heads.  This species has reproduced at the Tennessee Aquarium.

Hunted for its meat and eggs, it is classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).