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Australian short-necked turtles facts for kids

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Australian short-necked turtles
Pair of Emydura macquarii - Warrawong.JPG
Macquarie turtle
Emydura macquarii
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Pleurodira
Family: Chelidae
Subfamily: Chelodininae
Genus: Emydura
Bonaparte 1836

6, and see text

  • Emydura Bonaparte 1836:7
  • Emydura
    Bonaparte 1836:7
  • Chelymys
    Gray 1844:42
  • Euchelymys
    Gray 1871:118
  • Tropicochelymys
    Wells and Wellington 1985:9

Emydura, the Australian short-necked turtles, are a genus of turtles in the family Chelidae. It was paraphyletic with Elseya. Consequently, it was split into two genera Myuchelys and Elseya by Thomson & Georges, 2009. They can grow quite large, 30 cm or more is not unusual and have a life span of around 20–30 years. They generally do not hibernate as their warmer climate lets them remain active all year round; they also spend more time in the water than other varieties. They are considered omnivore but rely on a constant supply of meat to remain healthy, feeding on basically anything that will fit into their mouth.

They are characterised by a white strip starting at their nose and leading down their neck, as well as a more rigged shell. In Australia, the public require a basic reptiles licence to purchase these animals; taking from the wild is strictly prohibited.


Species and notable subspecies arranged according to most recent review of Georges & Thomson, 2010 with some modification after Kehlmaier et al. 2019 are:

  • Northern red-faced turtle, Emydura australis, (Gray, 1841)
  • Emydura gunaleni, Smales, McCord, Cann, & Joseph-Ouni, 2019
  • Macquarie turtle, Emydura macquarii, (Gray, 1830)
    • Murray river turtle, Emydura macquarii macquarii
    • Krefft's turtle, Emydura macquarii krefftii
    • Fraser island short-neck turtle, Emydura macquarii nigra
    • Cooper creek turtle, Emydura macquarii emmotti
  • Red-bellied short-necked turtle or Jardine River Turtle, Emydura subglobosa, (Krefft 1876)
    • Red-bellied short-necked turtle, Emydura subglobosa subglobosa
    • Worrell's short-necked turtle, Emydura subglobosa worrelli
  • Northern yellow-faced turtle, Emydura tanybaraga, Cann, 1997
  • Victoria river red-faced turtle, Emydura victoriae, (Gray 1841)
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Australian short-necked turtles Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.