Spiny terrapin, spiny turtle
Taxonomy: Animalia; Chordata; Reptilia; Testudines; Geoemydidae
Threat Status: Endangered (onthe IUCN Red List)
Distribution: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand
Ecology: The spiny terrapin is believed to be herbivorous in the wild, choosing to eat fallen fruit and vegetation.
Habitat: Spiny terrapins are semi-aquatic and live in lowland and hill rainforests. They are typically found in either shallow streams or forest floor leaf litter.
Morphology: The spiny terrapin gets its name from its sharp, spiky-edged carapace and spiny keel. While these spines are heavily serrated during its juvenile years, they slowly wear down as the terrapin ages. It is believed that these spines act as a deterrent to predators, such as snakes. The spiny terrapin has a distinctive yellow to red spot behind the eye and a speckling of similar-colored spots on its legs. This combination of colors helps camouflage it on the forest floor.
Interesting Fact: It is believed that the mating behaviors of male spiny terrapins are brought on by rain. Although there has been little observation of this in the wild, in captivity spraying males with water has resulted in them trying to mate with females.