Long Necked Turtle – Facts, Habitat, Diet – Northern / Eastern / Western

The eastern long necked turtle is an Australian species that inhibits large water bodies and is known to be an opportunistic feeder. It bends its neck sideways into the shell rather than pulling it back directly. It is also known as the Chelodina longicollis.

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The shell of this turtle usually grows to reach the length of 25 cm and the neck can also grow to reach the same length. The outer shell will be any color from reddish brown to black while the bottom shell is usually light yellow cream color with sometimes dark markings.

The claws are strong and webbed while the jaws can deliver a very painful bite and are made from horn like material.

The Common Long Necked Turtle

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The long necked turtle will eat other animals like small fish, frogs, tadpoles, insects and worms.

Eastern Long Necked Turtle Diet

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A balanced diet that is given at the appropriate times is essential to keep turtles healthy. Large turtles will be fed every 3 to 5 days in order to stay healthy because overfeeding them can cause a lot of health problems.

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The perfect diet should include a lot of small animals including small fish that are high in calcium in addition to fresh water prawns or seawater prawns soaked in fresh water after having their heads removed, worm, water snails and insects’ larvae.

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The diet could also include some crickets. You can also offer some low fat cat pellets to your turtle as this is rich in nutrients. You can choose any other pet food but you must make sure that it is free from fats, low on salts and contains no additives.

But you should never give your turtle minced meat because it is very high in fat content that could hurt your turtle and damage its internal systems. Raw meat also lacks the essential nutrients needed to keep your turtle healthy. You should also stay away from anything that contains added chemicals or preservatives.

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You can also offer your turtle some kind of vegetation. You can get a special vegetable mix from the vet and mix it with water and gelatine until it forms some thick paste and allow it to set in an ice tray.

The Wombaroo Carnivore Rearing Mix is a great option that could be mixed with some insects for a more natural diet. You can also choose to include some of the plants that your turtle would consume naturally.

Food should be cleaned off the pond if it is not eaten because it will be bad for your turtle’s health and you must make sure to offer food when the sun is not highest in the sky.

The Eastern Long Necked Turtle Habitat

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This turtle can be found in any slow moving water body in eastern Australia like lakes, rivers and ponds.

The Eastern Long Necked Turtle Adaptation

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The shell is usually black to dark reddish brown in color but is light cream on the bottom side. The head is usually small with the females growing to be bigger than the males.

There will be grey to black markings on the neck and the neck will also be lighter on the bottom. When the turtle feels threatened, it will emit a bad smell from a special gland.

Long Necked Turtle Facts

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  1. The neck of this turtle can grow to be 15 cms while the shell can grow to reach 25 cm.
  2. The strong claws can be used to grab and tear small preys. They also have very strong jaws that can deliver lethal bites to small animals.
  3. They use their necks to hit their prey by moving them from side to side.
  4. These turtles mate in the summer and will lay 2 to 10 eggs at a time. The eggs are subject to danger from water rats or lizards while the baby turtles are usually eaten by birds and large fish.
  5. When they feel afraid in the presence of danger, these turtles will emit a very bad small from their armpits and from the groin glands. This smell will often keep other animals away.
  6. They are very common and can be found in any freshwater body in eastern Australia.

The Northern Long Necked Turtle Or The Snake Turtle

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This is was first described in 1841 in material collected during an expedition across Australia. This breed was exclusively found in Port Essington in North Australia.

This turtle is also carnivorous and will consume small fish, snails, worms and insects. It is also known as Chelodina oblonga.

This is not an aggressive species and would rather escape than attack or defend. It can be found in freshwater and sometimes in brackish water, too.

It will often hide under rocks or bury itself in the mud to feed on fish and frogs. Females usually have a very distinctive stubby short tail.

 

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