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Pelodiscus sinensis


Pelodiscus sinensis
Chinese Softshell Turtle
中华甲鱼
The Chinese softshell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis), formerly known as Trionyx sinensis, was described by Wiegmann in 1835. The species is also referred to as the Asiatic Soft Shelled Turtle.
There is a subspecies japonicus which is sometimes erroneously listed as Pelodiscus japonica.
The Chinese softshell turtle can reach a carapace length of 1 foot (30.3 cm). It has webbed feet for swimming.
It forages at night, taking crustaceans, molluscs, insects, fish, and amphibians.
With its long snout and tubelike nostrils, the Chinese soft-shelled turtle can "snorkel" in shallow water. When resting, it lies at the bottom, buried in sand or mud, lifting its head to breathe or snatch at prey.

The Chinese Softshell Turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) is the turtle species raised on China's turtle farms. According to the data obtained from 684 Chinese turtle farms, they sold over 91 million turtles of this species every year; considering that these farms represented less than half of the 1,499 registered turtle farms in China, the nationwide total could be over twice as high.
These turtles can be injured if they are dropped or hit, and are susceptible to shell fungus. Within Europe, the turtle is a popular pet, particularly in countries such as Italy and the Czech Republic.

体躯扁平,呈椭圆形,背腹具甲。通体被柔软的革质皮肤,无角质盾片。体色基本一致,无鲜明的淡色斑点。头部粗大,前端略呈三角形。吻端延长呈管状,具长的肉质吻突,约与眼径相等。眼小,位于鼻孔的后方两侧。口无齿,脖颈细长,呈圆筒状,伸缩自如,视觉敏锐。颈基两侧及背甲前缘均无明显的瘰粒或大疣。背甲暗绿色或黄褐色,周边为肥厚的结缔组织,俗称“裙边”。腹甲灰白色或黄白色,平坦光滑,有7个胼胝体,分别在上腹板、内腹板、舌腹板与下腹板联体及剑板上。尾部较短。四肢扁平,后肢比前肢发达。前后肢各有5趾,趾间有蹼。内侧3趾有锋利的爪。四肢均可缩入甲壳内。
中华鳖属爬行冷血动物,生活于江河、湖沼、池塘、水库等水流平缓、鱼虾繁生的淡水水域,也常出没于大山溪中。在安静、清洁、阳光充足的水岸边活动较频繁,有时上岸但不能离水源太远。能在陆地上爬行、攀登,也能在水中自由游泳。喜晒太阳或乘凉风。民间谚语形容鳖的活动是“春天发水走上滩,夏日炎炎柳荫栖,秋天凉了入水底,冬季严寒钻泥潭”。夏季有晒甲(晒盖)习惯,我国北方地区10月底冬眠,翌年4月开始寻食;喜食鱼虾、昆虫等,也食水草、谷类等植物性饵料,并特别嗜食臭鱼、烂虾等腐败变质饵料,如食饵缺乏还会互相残食。性怯懦怕声响,白天潜伏水中或淤泥中,夜间出水觅食(“瓮中捉鳖”或“瓮中之鳖”就是指的利用鳖的这一习性,将缸埋于水边地下,缸口平于地面成一陷阱,鳖觅食爬行时跌入缸内被捕获);耐饥饿,但贪食且残忍。4-5龄成熟,4-5月水中交配,待20天产卵,多次性产卵,至8月结束;通常首次产卵仅4—6枚。体重在500克左右的雌性可产卵24—30枚。5龄以上雌鳖一年可产50-100枚;雌性在繁殖季节一般可产卵3—4次。卵为球形,乳白色,卵径15—20毫米,卵重为8—9克。其选好产卵点后,掘坑10厘米深,将卵蛋产于其中,然后用土覆盖压平伪装,不留痕迹;一次产卵10枚左右,经过40-70天地温孵化,稚鳖破壳而出,1-3天脐带脱落入水生活;卵及稚鳖常受蚊、鼠、蛇、虫等的侵害。产卵点一般环境安静、干燥向阳、土质松软,据研究观察,其距离水面的高度可准确判断当年的降雨量。寿命可达60龄以上。
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