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New Guinea Snake-neck Turtle


New Guinea and adjacent islands, northeastern Australia.


Small and large freshwater bodies of water, jungle rivers with ample vegetation.


Carapace fairly typical, but shows some variation from "normal" turtle patterns. Long neck and (including head) can sometimes exceed the length of the carapace. Carapace plates with furrous. Skin very dark.

New Guinea Snake-neck Turtle Click to View Bigger Picture

When resting, this turtle twists its long neck off to the side for protection. The highly flexible neck permits foraging in mud as well as snorkeling. It also allows the turtle to strike quickly to capture prey.


The snake-neck turtle is oviparous. 17-21 eggs are laid and incubation lasts 75-110 days depending on temperature.

Interesting Facts:

These animals are side-necked turtles unlike hidden-neck turtles. This means that the neck and head fold sideways under the edge of the carapace instead of back in the shell.

New Guinea Snake-neck Turtle Click to View Bigger Picture
New Guinea Snake-neck Turtle
Class: reptile
Genus: Chelodina
Species: novaeguinea
Length: 7-8 inches
Average Lifespan: 15
Wild Diet: Carnivorous. Small aquatic insects, snails, amphibians, and small fish.
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Small Animal Building: Tropics Zone

Learn more about reptile or animals from Australasia!
Or, cross-reference the two!

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