Softshell Turtle



Softshells are easily identified because of thier nearly circular, pancake-like carapace coverd with soft leathery skin instead of horny scutes.  Feet are paddlelike, fully webbed, and have three claws.  Snout is tubular and the beak is sharp.  Softshells are strong swimmers, breathing through their snouts like a snorkel.  They also often hide in sandy bottoms, by burrowing within the sand and allowing just their head to be exposed.  They use this as a cryptic way of ambushing prey.  Females tend to be much larger than males in this family.