Indian black turtle (Melanochelys trijuga)

There are supposedly five different sub – species of this turtle that are known to biologists. The Indian black turtle is found all over the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka where it is another sub species.

The main features that differentiate these sub species are the colouration of the neck and head. This can be caused by habitat and temperature as well as other factors. They are omnivores feeding on snails, crabs and water plants as well as scavenging on carcasses. They have been classified as nearly threatened on the IUCN red list, due to habitat destruction. Laying of eggs mainly depends on the weather; there is less activity during the rainy seasons and high during the months of April – June when there is less rainfall. Their clutches have been seen in bushes serrated with thorns. The incubation period is approximately 100 – 200 days.

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