Cartilaginous Carapace

I met this Florida Soft Shell Turtle (Apalone ferox ) while touring the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive over the weekend. This is the largest of our three soft shell species, so called because they lack hard shells and scutes.

Based on the massive size of this one I believe it was a female (males tend to be noticeably smaller). Since it is the height of egg-laying season I presume that’s why she was out of the water. It was a treat to get to see her up close, look at that snout, it looks like a snorkel.

Categories: Observations

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