Friday, March 18, 2011

Spiny Softshell Turtle

The spiny softshell turtle is one of only two softshell turtle species that can be found in Minnesota. The spiny softshell can be found primarily in rivers, though they will also sometimes live in lakes with shallows and sandbars, throughout the southern two thirds of Minnesota. They are cautious and will into the water if they get nervous. I photographed these spiny softshells in the Minnesota River at Fort Snelling State Park.
Males and females of the species can appear quite different, see the photo above for comparison. Females are quite a bit larger, up to about twice the size of the males. Males typically have longer tales and have spots on their shells where the females shell is covered with large blotches. Males mature at about 5 years where females do not mature until they are 8 years old or older. Mating occurs in May and eggs are laid in a sandbar close to the water.

10 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Now that looks like a new turtle for me. great shots!

Boonie S said...

These are wonderful photos. You've taught-us a lot here. Thanks for sharing.

All the best, Boonie

Snap said...

turtles fascinate me ... wonderful shots. happy critter day!

Trish ~ ♥ ~ said...

cool, I've not seen a soft shell turtle before. We have soft shell crabs here at the Jersey Shore.

Jidhu Jose said...

nice shots

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Always informative with great images--I've missed coming by to read your blog. Glad to be back.

Dubster said...

These are awesome sight to see.

Carol said...

We have softshell turtles here in FL.I found a large one in the road and picked it up and moved it. After taking some pictures I came home and researched it...turns out they have a very long neck and strong mandibles might have been able to reach around and snap off a finger. Wont do that again.

BJ Roan said...

A very interesting post with amazing turtle pics. We have turtles in the pond, but I never see them on land. They are always poking their nose up from a safe distance away.

john said...

I didn't know there are softshell turtles. what do i know!!!
Great blog.