ANIMAL BYTES: THE FLORIDA SOFTSHELL TURTLE

What the heck is that?! About the weirdest-looking turtle you’ve ever seen!

CHEW ON THIS:

  • The Florida softshell is a large turtle with a long, tubular snout and a smooth, flat, leathery carapace. The carapace has some solid bone underlying its center but is soft and pliable toward the edges.  This helps make the turtle a very fast swimmer.
  • Females are larger than males – with a 24 inch carapace compared to 14 inches for an adult male.
  • The turtles are prized for their meat, and this has led to a decline in their numbers in Florida.