Spiny softshell turtle
Latin: Apalone spinifera
Appearance: The spiny softshell turtle is a medium-large freshwater turtle that is easily recognized by its shell, which is round, rather flat, leathery and can reach up to 54 centimetres in length. It is also distinguished by its snorkel-like snout and is unique in Ontario because it is the only species with a soft shell.
Habitat: Spiny softshell turtles are found primarily in rivers, lakes, creeks, and even ditches and ponds near rivers. Spiny softshell turtles are highly aquatic turtles that rarely travel far from water.
Diet: Spiny softshell turtles feed primarily on aquatic insects, crayfish, and the occasional fish. However, these turtles will eat anything in the water that will fit into it's mouth.
Behaviour: Spiny softshell turtles will bury themselves under a layer of mud at the bottom of a lake, with only their head sticking out, and catch prey as it passes by. They lead a solitary life and are most active during the day. Spiny softshells spend their days foraging for food or basking in the sun on logs and river banks.