Murray River Turtle
|Geographical Range||Southeastern Australia|
|Habitat||Large rivers, lagoons, water holes|
|Scientific Name||Emydura macquarrii|
Murray River turtles live throughout southeastern Australia's large rivers, lagoons and water holes.
These water-dwelling turtles have a unique way of mating. During courtship, the male approaches the female with a series of head-bobs, touches her back end with his snout, then swims to her front and faces her. He then lines up his whisker-like chin "barbels" with hers, and strokes her snout with his foreclaws. Soon after, the two turtles mate. The female generally lays 15 long, brittle-shelled eggs in a chamber that she digs high in a riverbank.
Murray River turtles are part of a large group of side-neck turtles, all of which are found south of the equator. Most of them live in freshwater habitats. While other turtles fold their neck backward under the shell for protection, the side-necks tuck their head and neck sideways under the front edge of the upper shell.