Reproductive biology

The courtship and mating of the Podocnemididae have not been described. The more aquatic species may migrate considerable distances to nesting beaches. The females nest predominantly on sandbars and river banks, often in large numbers. The leathery eggs range from nearly spherical in the largest species, to oblong in the others. Clutch size ranges from five to 20 in the smallest species, to as many as 156 in the largest. Incubation is completed in 40-149 days. All studied species exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination,

A yellow-spotted river turtle (Podocnemis unifilis). (Photo by Henri Janssen. Reproduced by permission.)

with warm temperatures producing females, and intermediate temperatures producing males. In some species still cooler temperatures may again produce mostly females.

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