Pig-nosed Turtle – Adaptations in Northern Australia

Pig-nosed Turtle – Adaptations in Northern Australia

Hi, I’m Doctor Carla Eisemberg and I am a Research Associate Fellow at Charles Darwin University and I have been working for the last six
years with the pig-nosed turtle which is a really cool animal and I think it’s
quite relevant to this course because as you have been seeing during the course the animals adapt to their environment and the pig-nosed turtle is very interesting
because it has a very restricted distribution but
it’s quite separate it happens in the Northern Territory in
Australia and also in Papua New Guinea and the both
environments are very different …so each population of pig-nosed
turtle have to adapt to this environment and one interesting thing is that they
only nest during the dry season in Papua New Guinea the dry season is
completely different than the dry season in Australia. It starts in October when in Australia it starts in May so this population has to respond to these different dry season periods.
We are here in a sand bank we know that a female turtle came here two
months ago and laid her eggs so they’re ready to hatch but another these turtles do is that the egg develops in two months and then they are
ready to go but in this case they are not quite ready because they have to wait until the next flood because it is if they
hatch right now they will have to walk all the way from here to the water, and there is a good chance that a predator would come so they adapt to wait in the egg until heavy rain or a flood comes and that’s
when they pop out and very few species do that. You don’t
see that with sea turtles, you don’t see that with other fresh water turtles. It’s quite
unique from this turtle. Let’s have a look at this nest and see
how this one is actually quite close to the water and the female probably is a new one and, actually, the water might come and flood before they are ready, but
they were actually quite lucky this year …the dry season has been quite long so they are ready to go but still waiting for the flood to come …or a heavy rain.
So let’s dig carefully here because if you’ll turn the egg they might get stressed and pop out or if they were not ready and you turn the egg they actually die so you can see here, this is the egg of a pig-nosed turtle it really looks like a ping-pong ball. And let’s just go to the lab now and put this egg, who is ready to hatch
and you will see that from it will come a very cute pig-nosed turtle hatchling. So, we just put the egg inside the
container as you can see and be patient, it will take a little bit for
them to come out of the egg you need to wait until the anoxia kicks in and then they will start kicking the inside of the egg and coming out sometimes it happens really quick. In nature, it might take a few seconds and then they will be out there swimming already but because we are in a lab it might actually take a little bit the hatchling as you can see does not have a
lot of grip as the in the more that it gets out of
the egg it can get in the sand it would be easier for them to get out.
Look at that now is coming out Oh it’s free! And now it’s interesting they have the
same behavior as the sea turtles They have this little frenzy in the beginning when they go like crazy because they will be predators waiting for
them and they just need to go as quick as possible bury themselves as you see in the next video, this
is the moment releasing the into in the creek as we’re releasing now it’s
actually swimming and it’s digging itself. The more it digs itself and it’s just there… …the Predators will not see them and
now don’t worry and see enjoy this beautiful view
because the turtle is hatched.

Randy Schultz

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5 thoughts on “Pig-nosed Turtle – Adaptations in Northern Australia

  1. Best Turtle Videos says:

    Best Turtle Videos Only Added!

    Awesome video cute girl and turtle!

  2. Joe Sanchez says:

    Amazing critters.

  3. Marc Smith says:

    great video!

  4. MrCites1 says:

    I didn't know you found these turtles at Buffalo creek

  5. yao tzeo says:

    Good to see, good to know to.  Almost 4 years, hope the population is doing well.

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