Central American River Turtle
|Geographical Range||Southern Mexico to northern Guatemala and Belize (in Central America)|
|Habitat||Rivers and large freshwater lakes; sometimes in lagoons, brackish water|
|Scientific Name||Dermatemys mawii|
This large turtle -- known locally as the hiccatee -- spends its entire life in water. It is active mostly at night, when it feeds on water plants and on fruit that falls from trees overhanging the rivers, ponds, and brackish lagoons where it lives.
The high-quality meat of this turtle fetches high prices in Central American markets, which is why it has been severely over-hunted. The species receives some protection in Belize, but there are few other efforts to conserve it in the wild.