African Mud Turtle

Theme area:  The Amazon
Scientific name:  Pelusios castaneus
Class:  Reptiles
Continent:  Africa
Habitat:  Lakes
Diet:  Omnivore
Weight:  -
Size:  up to 30 cm

The West African mud turtle is a medium sized, aquatic turtle. Extremely adaptable, they appear in many fresh water habitats such as mud holes, swamps, rivers and ponds. During drought season, the turtles will aestivate (sleep) into the ground to wait out until the wet season. They are often found in large numbers basking along muddy banks and are ravenous feeders.

280 freshwater turtle species are found around the world, over one third are at risk of extinction. These turtles are threatened through hunting for meat, the pet trade and habitat loss. They are found in shallow water through Western and Central Africa. Hunts actively for fish and molluscs. 

Conservation status
Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated


The West African mud turtles has a rather calm disposition. They rarely bite and usually withdraw into their shells if they are being handled.
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