Chordates • Earth.com

Elseya albagula

(Elseya albagula)

Description

Elseya albagula, commonly known as the white-throated snapping turtle, is one of the largest species of chelid turtles in the world, growing to about 45 cm (18 in) carapace length. The species is endemic to south-eastern Queensland, Australia, in the Burnett, Mary, and Fitzroy River drainages. This species is entirely aquatic, rarely coming ashore and is chiefly herbivorous, feeding on the fruits and buds of riparian vegetation, algae, and large aquatic plants. First proposed as a species by John Goode in the 1960s, it was finally described in 2006. The species is named from the Latin alba = white and gula = throat, which is a reference to the white blotching present on the throats of adult females in the species. The type locality for the species is the Burnett River in south-eastern Queensland, but it is also found in the Mary and Fitzroy River drainages to the north of the Burnett. Some have argued for each of these rivers to represent different species, but DNA, morphological, and morphometric analyses does not support this conclusion.

Taxonomic tree:

Domain:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum:
Class: Reptilia
Order:Testudines
Family:Chelidae
Genus:Elseya
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