Spiny Turtle

Heosemys spinosa

About This Animal

SIZE: 9”-10”

RANGE: Indonesia; Malaysia; Singapore; Thailand

HABITAT: Lowland and low-elevation rainforest near streams

DIET: Omnivorous: plants, invertebrates

ON EXHIBIT: Turtle Gallery on level two of River Journey

Spiny turtles are somewhat common in zoo collections but the species is considered difficult to breed in captivity and the first one hatched in 1991.  The species has bred consistently at the Aquarium since 2007.  To date over a dozen have hatched here.  Incubation takes about 100 days at 81 degrees. Hatchlings are fairly large and are considerably more spiny than the adults.  The purpose of the spines is unknown.  However, it does provide disruptive camouflage and also probably prevents predators such as snakes from eating the babies.