Southern Thailand through Malaysia to Sumatra and Borneo
Estuaries and tidal reaches of medium to large rivers
Wild: Vegetarian. Any animals consumed are probably taken accidentally
No information given
Clutch size: about 12
The oval carapace is somewhat flattened, and the scutes roughened with growth annuli. Juveniles have a well-developed continuous medial keel and an interrupted lateral keel on the pleural scutes of each side. These keels disappear with age. The adult carapace is light brown to olive with three broad, black longitudinal stripes. The plastron is well developed, but small than the shell opening, and has only a shallow posterior notch. The bridge is broad and the plastron extensively sutured to the carapace. The plastron and bridge are uniformly yellow or cream colored. The head is small to moderate in size with an upturned, pointed, projecting snout, and a shallow medial notch on the upper jaw. The back of the head is covered with small scales. The limbs have enlarged transverse scales. There are five claws on the forefeet, and all toes are heavily webbed. The limbs and other soft parts are normally olive to gray. The head of the female is olive, and that of nonbreeding males charcoal gray. During the mating season the male’s head becomes white and a red stripe develops between the eyes. Males are shorter than females and have longer, thicker tails.
Behavior: Adults live mainly in estuaries and tidal reaches of medium to large rivers. Juveniles and hatchlings are less tolerant, and probably inhabit freshwater portions of these same rivers. However, hatchlings can survive for at least two weeks in 100% sea water. This allows them enough time to make the migration from their sea-beach nests, some of which may be as far as 3 km from the mouth of a river, to fresh water.
Reproduction: Nesting occurs from June to August. The female emerges from the sea, selects a site, then rapidly digs a 30-cm-deep hole, lays her eggs, covers them, and returns to the sea. Eggs are ellipsoidal with brittle shells. Hatchlings are rounded with dark spots on each vertebral and one on the posterior border of each pleural scute.
Did You Know?
The Callagur may be the largest emydid turtle. While most individuals are under 60 cm in carapace length, on specimen of Callagur was reported to be 76 cm in length.
Where in the Zoo?
I can be found in the Gharial Crocodile Exhibit at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.