Turtles are among the most popular reptiles in the world. Some species of turtles are kept as pet and some are gathered for human consumption. Some species are colorful and a few are weird-looking. Here are some of the most unusual and unique turtles in the world.
Texas Spiny Softshell Turtle (Apalone spinifera emoryi)
One of the most fascinating and odd-looking turtle is the Texas Spiny Softshell Turtle. This unusual but pretty turtle is a subspecies of Softshelled Turtle. It is endemic to the US state of Texas. Aside from Texas, they also range in the state of New Mexico.
Spiny Turtle (Heosemys spinosa)
The attractive Spiny Turtle of Southeast Asia is one of the most unusual-looking turtles in the world. It inhabits lowland and hill rainforest, usually in the vicinity of small streams. This peculiar species of turtle is known in the Philippines, Brunei, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Indian Flap-Shelled (Lissemys punctata)
Isn’t it cute? I like the close-up shot of this unique turtle – the Indian Flap-shelled Turtle, a species found in South Asia. They are widespread and very common in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh, Myanmar and introduced to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Barbour’s Map Turtle (Graptemys Barbouri)
The Barbour’s Map Turtle is native to the eastern US particularly in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Barbour’s Map Turtles are outlawed from ownership in both Georgia and Alabama. There is a limit of two turtles per person in Florida. All map turtles including this species are not allowed to be sold if they are under the length of 4 inches. This unique turtle feeds on mollusks, insects and small fish.
Argentine Snake-necked Turtle (Hydromedusa tectifera)
This species found in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil is a popular pet in the exotic pet trade. It is also known as the South American Snake-necked Turtle, a turtle that is known for its long neck hence the name. Despite appearan-ces, the Argentine Snake-necked Turtle is actually more related to the Mata mata than to the Australian Snake-necked Turtles.
Cantor's giant soft-shelled turtle (Pelochelys cantorii)
This peculiar-looking species named Cantor's Giant Soft-shelled Turtle is a species of fresh water turtle that has a broad head and small eyes close to the tip of its snout. It can grow up to 6 feet (about 2 meters) in length and weigh more than 100 pounds (about 50 kilograms). The unusual turtle spends 95% of its life buried and motionless, with only its eyes and mouth protruding from the sand. It surfaces only twice a day to take a breath.
Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii)
Alligator Snapping Turtles are one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world. This species will eat almost anything it can catch and it is also known to kill alligators, eat snakes, and even other turtles. Alligator snapping turtles are often captive-bred as pets and are readily available in the exotic animal trade. Due to their potential size and specific needs, they do not make particularly good pets for any but the most experienced aquatic turtle keepers. The sex of the baby alligator snapping turtles depends on the temperature at which the eggs are incubated.
Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)
This odd-looking turtle known as Leatherback Turtle is the largest of all living sea turtles and the fourth largest reptile behind three crocodilians. It has backwards spines in its throat to help it swallow food. Leatherback Turtles can dive to depths as great as 4200 feet (1,280 meters) that's why they are tagged as the world's deepest-diver reptiles. An adult average at around one to two meters long and weigh from around 250 to 700 kg. The largest ever found however was over three meters from head to tail and weighed 916 kilograms. They are also the fastest reptiles on record having achieved the speed of 9.8 meters per second or 35.28 km per hour in the water.
Eastern Long-neck Turtle (Chelodina longicollis)
This turtle is not only bizarre because of its appearance but also due to some of its traits. When it feels threatened, Eastern Long-necked Turtle will emit an offensive smelling fluid from its musk glands that's why it's also known as "stinker." Other common names include Common snake-neck turtle, Eastern snake-neck turtle, or Common long-neck turtle and its most distinctive feature its extremely long neck. It is a type of side-necked turtle, meaning that it bends its head sideways into its shell rather than pulling it directly back.
Spiny Softshell Turtle (Apalone spinifera)
This bizarre species known as Spiny Softshell Turtle found in Canada, US and Mexico is a species of softshelled turtle. It is one of the largest freshwater turtle species in the continent of North America. It gets its name from the spiny, cone-like projections on the leading edge of its shell.