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.
Genera in this family
The North-American branch of genus Trionyx, that they used to be included at
Their shells are falsely believed to have medicinal value and are ground into powder for making traditional medicines
Home of the largest freshwater turtle in the world