Soft Shell Turtle

Soft Shell Turtle

A rare find for me.  I have seen only one in South Carolina, this one in the Okefenokee in Georgia, and a few other times in southern Florida swamps.

In the US they are the largest fresh water turtle. Females might weight 6.65 kg ,14 lbs. Until recently they were also harvested for food. A similar species is a major food source in China.

Soft Shell Turtle
Soft Shell Turtle

The above is a fairly clear shot considering they are most always under water. The small minnows in the swamp can be seen also.

They have a large nose that allows them to breath without surfacing and they can swim very fast due to the lightweight shell, which is smooth and light but not particularly soft as you would think.

We found this one on the edge of a thicket with clear water. There were a few but this one didn’t disappear like the others.

 

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