T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Turtle (Broad-shelled long-necked) Chelodina expansa

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Pleurodira
Family: Chelidae
Subfamily: Chelodininae
Genus: Chelodina
Subgenus: Macrochelodina
Species: C. (M.) expansa
Binomial name: Chelodina expansa
Synonyms: Macrochelodina expansa
Common name: Broad-shelled turtle, Broad-shelled snake-necked turtle, Giant snake-necked turtle, Broad-shelled long-necked turtle.

Chelodina expansa a pleurodire freshwater turtle that is found throughout the Murray-Darling River system of South-Eastern Australia and in a number of distinct populations across central and coastal Queensland areas.
They are kept as pets and are traded in New Zealand. 

It is the largest of the long-necked turtles. It has broad, oval, flattened carapace (upper shell) with a length of around 50 cm. The turtle is a rich brown to blackish-brown colour above, typically displaying fine dark flecks or reticulations. The turtle has a whitish or creamy coloured carapace (underside). The plastron is narrow and the shell does not display any noticeable expansion anteriorly. The shell is usually twice as long as wide and is broadest at the level of the bridge. The head is broad and highly depressed and the eyes are directly dorsolateral. The broad-shelled turtle can tuck its neck and head under the leading edge of its carapace. This turtle's long neck can add 80 per cent to its body length, aiding in its deception strategy for ambush hunting. They have clawed webbed feet. Chelodina expansa is entirely carnivorous, preying upon frogs, crustaceans, aquatic insects, and small fish.


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