Pelomedusidae – African side-necked turtles

Freshwater turtles native to sub-Saharan Africa

Due to their inability to fully retract their heads into their shells, African side-necked turtles draw their heads to the side and beneath the top edge of their shells, earning them the nickname. They are small aquatic animals with a life expectancy of roughly 25 years in the wild, yet they can live twice as long when raised in captivity.

They favor still bodies of water, such as lakes and wetlands. These turtles differ from most others in having a special trait. The long, muscular necks of African side-necked turtles can be used to forcefully flick them back onto their feet when they are turned upside down.