Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Soft Shelled Turtle

Apalone spinifera


The spiny softshell turtle has a flat, leathery shell with very flexible edges, "resembling a pancake". This carapace can get up to 18" long in females and only 9" long in males being an olive, brown to grayish color with dark spots in males and younger turtles. In adult males, the shell has a lot of spines on the carapace, but in females it only has a few spines. Apalone spinifera has a snorkel-like nose with 2 yellowish lines on the sides of its head. Their feet have more webbing than most of the other turtles in Georgia. This may be because they spend most of their life in water compared to other turtles. Spiny Softshells resemble Florida Softshells and are best distinguished by range (Florida Softshells are only found in the Coastal Plain) and habitat (Spiny Softshells prefer rivers and streams while Florida Softshells are often found in ponds and wetlands).


often bury themselves in the mud or sand where they sleep or wait for food to carelessly swim by. They can sometimes be observed basking on sandbars or logs protruding from the water. These turtles are mainly carnivorous, eating almost anything living in the water that will fit into its mouth

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID

No Comments

Spotted by

Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Spotted on Jun 15, 2020
Submitted on Jun 15, 2020

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team