#Biodiversity150 number 59 of 150 Spiny Softshell Turtle

59/150: Snorkels & Pancakes for World Turtle Day!

Animalia: Chordata: Vertebrata: Reptilia: Testudines: Cryptodira: Trionychidae: Trionychinae: Apalone: Apalone spinifera (Charles Lesueur, 1827)

Spiny softshell turtles have a unique leathery shell which causes them to sometimes be called the pancake turtle! They can reach up to 54 cm and have a distinguishable snorkel like nose that allows them to stay submerged underwater for long periods of time. These turtles love the water thus are rarely seen far from lakes, rivers or creeks and may have huge ranges of habitat (some turtles have been known to travel 30 km from one end of their territory to another). They are able to get half of their oxygen supply directly through their skin so they can stay underwater for 5 hours! This Ontario native is listed as endangered because of habitat fragmentation and the loss of their nesting sites which are causing a dramatic decrease in their population. Currently their homes are being protected by the government and they are able to produce 20 eggs per year which will hopefully increase their population!  #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Adult spiny softshell turtles basking in the sun. Photo Credit: John Clare goo.gl/zWa387
Baby spiny softshell turtle Photo Credit: Tom Gill goo.gl/qjAUZZ

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID:  EANAH899-12

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Spiny Softshell Turtle

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:ABX2988

Title Image: Spiny Softshell Turtle (Apalone spinifera)
Photo Credit: Todd Pierson goo.gl/1SRxf4