Spiny Hill Turtle

The shell serves as both a defense and camouflage!
Spiny Hill Turtle Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Heosemys spinosa
Spiny Hill Turtle Physical Characteristics
Brown, Red, Orange, Beige
20 years
Top speed
3 mph
1.5 – 2kg (3 – 4.5lbs)
Spiny Hill Turtle Distribition

The spiny hill turtle made its name many thanks to its viciously spiky covering and the truth that this Southeast Oriental species commonly lives at greater altitudes

Found throughout Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, and various other Southeast Oriental nations, these turtles call the jungle house and rely upon the dropped leaves and particles in this setting for both defense and nourishment. Their evasive and singular nature– in addition to the truth that they’re intimidated with termination– implies that there are still significant voids in our understanding of their actions in the wild.

5 Amazing Spiny Hill Turtle Truths!

  • The spiny turtle is often located at altitudes of a minimum of 900 meters over water level.
  • Older participants of the species have smoother coverings many thanks to the spinal columns putting on down throughout their life.
  • The need for these turtles as pets and food is among the greatest hazards to their recurring presence in the wild.
  • Their problem adjusting to bondage has actually made it challenging for scientists to find out more regarding their habits.
  • Unlike species like the leatherback sea turtle– which can lay over a hundred eggs in a solitary clutch– the spiny hill turtle will commonly just lay 1 or 2 each time.

Spiny Hill Turtle Scientific name

The scientific name of the spiny hill turtle is Heosemys spinosa, a name that solves to the factor. Heosemys recommendations the spiny hill turtle’s genus within the bigger organic taxonomy. 4 species of freshwater turtles fall under this team– which consists of the Large Oriental fish pond turtle, Arakan woodland turtle, and yellow- headed holy place turtle. Spinosa originates from the Latin word for thorn shrub– spina — in a clear recommendation to the spiky covering that assists this endangered species attract attention.

Spiny Hill Turtle Appearance

One of the most significant physical particular the spiny hill turtle has is undoubtedly its spiky covering, however this can be an excellent sign of a turtle’s age too. Serrations along the margins of the covering safeguard more youthful turtles from predators, however they expand smoother as the turtle ages. Both the coloring and the covering are well- fit to camouflage in the atmospheres they reside in. The coverings and body differ from brownish to olive, however one of the most significant functions are a collection of red or yellow smudges that note their heads, neck, and the room over their eyes.

This type of turtle is reasonably little in dimension, with the common turtle varying in between half a foot and 3- quarters of a foot in size. Greatly many thanks to their thickness and the weight of their covering, these turtles are reasonably hefty for their dimension– roughly 3 to 5 extra pounds when completely expanded. Females and males can be difficult to identify in the wild, however males have a tendency to have thicker stories. In addition, the plastum– a term for home plate of bone that secures their bottom– is scooped in males of the species.

Spiny Hill Turtle Actions

If there are less truths regarding this species than there are of the typical turtle, it is because of exactly how evasive this species is. Like the majority of types of turtle or terrapin, the spiny hill turtle often tends to live a singular life– however they aren’t territorial. It’s not unusual for a variety of these turtles to inhabit the exact same stretch of land however hardly ever connect beyond breeding. The spiny turtle is crespular– which implies it appears throughout the golden hrs to forage and invests a lot of its time concealing covert. Scientists recognize little regarding the nesting practices of the spiny turtle, however they have actually kept in mind that the one-of-a-kind appearance and pigmentation of its covering permit it to assimilate with its setting capably.

Spiny Hill Turtle Environment

The spiny hill turtle is just belonging to Southeast Asia and Oceania, although its distribution is reasonably wide throughout those areas. This species can be located throughout the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia. The islands of Borneo and Sumatra likewise still preserve little populaces of the turtle.

The spiny hill turtle is instead particular regarding its environment too. Among one of the most frequently acknowledged truths regarding this species is that they often reside in environments over 900 meters over water level. They’re a semi- water species that need accessibility to a freshwater resource and thick jungle. The last is where the spiny hill turtle invests a lot of its time, as the fallen leaves and various other plant issue that drop from the trees over work as both a food resource and a kind of camouflage for the spiny hill turtle. Many thanks to an absence of webbed feet, these turtles invest a lot of their time foraging or concealing on the cover flooring– however it’s thought that they start to invest even more time in and near the water as they age.

Spiny Hill Turtle Diet

The spiny hill turtle is mostly an herbivore, though it has actually been recognized to eat meat from time to time. This will generally take the kind of worms and various other invertebrates. The treatment of spiny hill turtles in bondage asks for a salad of mostly fruit and a handful of veggies, and this is reflective of their diet in the wild too. The spiny hill turtle endeavors out at golden to search, and they discover their supper amongst the dead fallen leaves, fruit, and plants that drops from the covers over them.

Spiny Hill Turtle Predators and hazards

The reclusive nature of the spiny hill turtle has actually avoided scientists from finding out excessive regarding the hazards these animals run into in the wild, however it’s recognized that regional snakes are several of one of the most common predators in the jungle. The spiky covering of more youthful turtles implies that snakes and various other predators require to assault with treatment, however older turtles depend a lot more on masking themselves amongst the fallen leaves of the cover flooring for self- protection.

Yet the greatest danger to the species is humans, and they present hazards from a variety of various angles. Maintaining these turtles as a pet is prohibited in lots of locations, however that hasn’t quit go-getters from taking these animals from their indigenous environments and offering them as pets or unique meat. Sadly, it’s difficult to look after these turtles in bondage– and obtaining them to reproduce under the treatment of humans is specifically challenging. At the exact same time, the life-span of the extremely environments these turtles inhabit can be nearing its end. The hand oil sector, particularly, is causing the logging of these environments– which’s dividing these turtles from both their food resource and their key methods of preventing discovery from predators.

Spiny Hill Turtle Reproduction and Life Process

This loss of environment is a lot more pushing provided the problem of reproducing cogwheel turtles in bondage. Feasible reproduction has actually just been reproduced at 3 centers, starting with a hatching at Zoo Atlanta in 1992. Regardless of this, trading details on reproducing practices has actually discovered even more details regarding the reproduction cycle of these turtles. Males end up being sexually thrilled when splashed with yard tubes, causing the verdict that reproducing accompanies rains. Reproducing occurs in or near streams and various other bodies of water– and reproducing period shows up to drop in between December and February.

Females will commonly lay in between one and 3 eggs, and they can lay as lots of as 3 clutches in a year. Mommies will certainly produce a nest– although the specifics of nesting in the wild are yet unidentified– and the eggs will certainly hatch out after about 100 days. The spiky projections are the sharpest and most primary in young people, possibly as a method to safeguard them prior to they expand to complete dimension and establish their survival abilities. Beyond breeding, this species reveals little social actions and shows up to commit little time to elevating hatchlings.

The life-span of among these turtles in bondage depends on twenty years, although their enigmatic nature makes it difficult to identify specifically the length of time they can reside in the wild. Along with predators and human attack on their setting, there are a variety of health and wellness disorders that can reduce the life of a spiny turtle. They’re vulnerable to the exact same illness that target various other species of freshwater turtle, consisting of covering rot.

Spiny Hill Turtle Population

Worldwide and local information on spiny hill turtle numbers are restricted, however the logging of their environments– in addition to the truth that they do not take well to reproducing in bondage– has actually made them a classification as an endangered species. While restricted participants of the species appear to have actually adjusted well to the moist environments of The golden state, it’s not likely that they’ll discover ongoing success in the wild without initiatives to protect their land.


  1. Animal Life Expectancy, Available here: https://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/reptile-life-expectancy-spiny-terrapin
  2. Chelonia, Available here: http://www.chelonia.org/Articles/hermnspinosacare.htm
  3. Zooborns, Available here: https://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/turtle/page/6/
  4. Turtle Puddle, Available here: http://www.turtlepuddle.org/exotics/H_spinosa.html
  5. Chelonia2002, Available here: https://web.archive.org/web/20110912072018/http://www.chelonia2002.com/ownimages/artnerchecklist.pdf
  6. Wildlife Durrell, Available here: http://wildlife.durrell.org/latest/news/captive-bred-hatchling-is-breakthrough-for-endangered-turtle/
  7. Studbook breeding programme, Available here: https://studbooks.eu/site/assets/files/1637/studbook_heosemys_spinosa_report_2014.pdf

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