What a weird mummified turtle...

Submitted by Adam on 12/15/04 at 3:41 PM. ( )

I found this while searching on ebay. I thought it was strange. I don't understand how the turtle mummified like this:


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This response submitted by cur on 12/15/04 at 6:49 PM. ( )

Well, first of all, that, "snapping turtle" ain't no snapping turtle. The photo is of a desiccated shell from a Trionyx spiniferis, the Spiny Softshell Turtle. I have no clue what the seller means by "feet" unless they refer to the visible bones of the plastron assembly. There are a number of ways the shell could have dried, but it didn't include a critter free environment, since it would appear that all the goodies had either been eaten or carried away.

It does look weird but...

This response submitted by Bradlee on 12/15/04 at 8:26 PM. ( )

Cur is right again for sure . That definatley ain't a snapper ! LOL
Where does the spiny softshell turtle live ? we have soft shell where I live on the banks of the Illinois river . Are these guys spiny or a diffrent kind of softshell ?

Spiny softshell

This response submitted by cur on 12/15/04 at 9:17 PM. ( )

They range from the foothills of the Rockies, East to Western New York, and West of the Applachians to Carolina and from there South from the Atlantic coast to South Georgia and the Gulf Coast to The Rio Grande.........They range throughout the Ohio and Mississippi River Drainage. The Smooth Softshell is also in the Mississipi and Ohio river systems, but not east of the Applachian Foothills in KY and TN.

Spiny has a series of spines which project forward along the front of the carapace. They are not always as evident in live specimens as in the desiccated shell shown in the photo referenced. The covering skin has shrunken, causing the spines to be more prominent. Smooth softshell has no spines. The Florida Softshell, which ranges from South Georiga and Mississippi throughout Florida has blunt growths on the leading edge of the carapace.

Thank you Cur

This response submitted by Bradlee on 12/16/04 at 9:07 AM. ( )

I will have to take a close look at one of these guys this spring when I catch one ! People around here say They can be eaten and are good but I think I will stick to eating just the snappers I get !

Softshell is delicious

This response submitted by cur on 12/16/04 at 1:46 PM. ( )

What I said......good to eat

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