- Soft Shelled Turtle
- Pleistocene Age (11,000 – 2.4 Million Years Old)
- River Find
- Marion County, Florida
- Specimen will come in the 4.25″ x 5.25″ Riker Mount as shown
They are called “softshell” turtles because their carapaces lack horny scutes (scales), though the spiny softshell, Apalone spinifera, does have some scale-like projections, hence its name. The carapace is leathery and pliable, particularly at the sides. The central part of the carapace has a layer of solid bone beneath it, as in other turtles, but this is absent at the outer edges. Some species also have dermal bones in the plastron, but these are not attached to the bones of the shell. The light and flexible shell of these turtles allows them to move more easily in open water, or in muddy lake bottoms. Having a soft shell also allows them to move much faster on land than most turtles. Their feet are webbed and are three-clawed, hence the family name “Trionychidae,” which means “three-clawed.” The carapace color of each type of softshell turtle tends to match the sand and/or mud color of its geographical region, assisting in their “lie and wait” feeding methodology.