Chaco Side-necked Turtle

South America


Acanthochelys pallidipectoris


Its preferred habitat environment has been seriously altered to make way for soy bean production and cattle farming. Loss of food choices and protective dwelling lead to fast dwindling of its number.

The Chaco Side-Necked Turtle, a freshwater turtle from the Chelidae family, exclusively inhabits the arid parts of the Gran Chaco of Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay.

Its carapace can grow up to 18 cm in length and almost 400 grams in weight during adulthood. Its upper thighs have long horny spurs.

Its habit of burying itself to the muddy ground, like other members of its genus, is for protection against extremely hot or cold temperatures as well as for warding off potential attacks from predators.

Breeding may take place at the onset of rain during summer months, producing between two and five eggs per nest.