Australo American sideneck turtles

Class Reptilia Order Testudines Suborder Pleurodira Family Chelidae

Thumbnail description

Medium to large sideneck turtles with a nuchal scute (absent only in Elseya), zero to six neural bones, the pleural bones almost always meeting at the midline behind the neurals, mesoplastral bones absent, and the pelvis fused to the carapace and plastron


Number of genera, species

16 genera; 50 species


Swamps, marshes, seasonally flooded wetlands, ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers

Conservation status

Critically Endangered: 3 species; Endangered: 4 species; Vulnerable: 6 species; Lower Risk/Near Threatened: 8 species; Data Deficient: 2 species

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