Family : GEOEMYDIDAE
Species : Orlitia borneensis
Maximum Carapace Length : 80 cm
The Malayan Giant Terrapin
(or Giant Black River Turtle / Bornean River Turtle) is the largest freshwater turtle in Southeast
Asia. It is semi-aquatic, inhabiting large lakes, swamps and slow-flowing rivers.
The smooth, oval carapace is blackish or dark brown, and the plastron
is pale yellowish brown to off white. In adults the carapace is flatter and
smooth-edged, but in juveniles is more domed and serrated posteriorly. The webbed feet are large and
paddle-like, and the claws long and thick.
It is believed to be omnivorous, probably feeding on fallen fruits and other
plant matter, as well as fish and other available vertebrates.
This uncommon to rare species occurs in southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and
Borneo. Introduced specimens may occasionally be found in Singapore's
reservoirs and feeder streams.
Figs 1 and 2 : A full grown Malayan Giant Terrapin in a silty forest stream.
References : H3