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Namoi River snapping turtle facts for kids

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Namoi River snapping turtle
Conservation status
Scientific classification
  • Phrynops bellii
    Gray, 1844
  • Hydraspis bellii
    — Gray, 1855
  • Elseya bellii
    — Cann, 1998
  • Wollumbinia bellii
    — Wells, 2007
  • Myuchelys bellii
    Thomson & Georges, 2009

The Namoi River snapping turtle (Myuchelys bellii ), also commonly known as Bell's turtle, the Namoi River elseya, or Bell's saw-shelled turtle, is a species of turtle in the family Chelidae. The species is endemic to New South Wales, Australia.


Myuchelys bellii is the largest species in the Myuchelys genus with adult males (up to 227 mm carapace length) smaller than females (up to 300 mm carapace length). They are a uniform light to dark brown color with a broad oval shape. Juveniles display a serrated posterior edge of the carapace this may persist into so adults but begin to smooth. The plastron in adults is a pale yellow with dark dark patches or streaks. Have a prominent shield on dorsal surface of the head extending posterior toward but not touching the tympanum. Forelimbs each have five claws and the hind limbs have four claws. Gray tail which is shorter than half the carapace length. Hatchling have a (mean carapace length 26.7 ± 0.3 mm; mean carapace width 26.8 ± 0.6 mm, n = 16).


The specific name, bellii, and some of the common names, are in honor of English zoologist Thomas Bell.

Geographic range

M. bellii occurs in the upper reaches of the Namoi, Gwydir, Macdonald, and Severn Rivers in northern New South Wales, Australia.

  • Cann J (1998). Australian Freshwater Turtles. Singapore: Beaumont Publishing. 292 pp. ISBN: 978-9810406868.
  • Thomson S, Georges A (2009). "Myuchelys gen nov. — a new genus for Elseya latisternum and related forms of Australian freshwater turtle (Testudines: Pleurodira: Chelidae)". Zootaxa 2053: 32-42.
  • Wells RW (2007). "Some taxonomic and nomenclatural considerations on the class Reptilia in Australia. A new genus of the family Chelidae from eastern Australia". Australian Biodiversity Record (3): 1-13.
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