Trionychidae – Softshell turtles

Called “softshell” because their carapaces lack horny scales

Members of this family typically inhabit calm or moving waters and have muddy bottoms. They don’t spend as much time in the sun as other water turtle species do. Typically carnivorous, softshell turtles eat fish, insects, mollusks, and amphibians. Unlike many other turtle species, softshell turtles can move quickly on land.

They can be found in some parts of North America, Asia, and Africa. Softshell turtles look flat out of the water, while most turtles look more dome-shaped. As a result, the names flapjacks and pancake turtles were coined. These turtles spend much time in the mud rather than basking as other turtles do.