Madagascar Big-Headed Turtle

Most turtles are able to retract their head all the way into the shell, but due to the size of their heads, it cannot be retracted completely. They has developed rigid scutes on the top and sides of the head for added protection instead.

  • Scientific Name: Erymnochelys madagascariensis
  • Range: Freshwater Wetlands and river basins of Madagascar
  • Status in the Wild: Critically Endangered
  • Location in the Zoo: The Orangutan habitat in the Wortham World of Primates
  • Cool Animal Fact: This turtle is one of many animals only found on the island of Madagascar. They are critically endangered, and the Houston Zoo is an active participant in a breeding program to help their numbers. Our Madagascar big-headed turtles have produced several clutches of hatchlings recently.