Pig-Nosed Turtle

(Carettochelys insculpta)

Find Me In
The Tropics
IUCN Conservation Status
Vulnerable (VU)


Rivers, estuaries, lagoons, lakes, swamps and pools/Northern Australia, Irian Jaya and southern New Guinea


Rivers, estuaries, lagoons, lakes, swamps and pools

The Pig-Nosed Turtle is so unique, it can’t help but hog the spotlight! This freshwater turtle gets its name from its cute snout that resembles a pig’s nose.

However, their nose is more than just an adorably unique feature – it also acts as a snorkel allowing for easier access to the surface and is equipped with sensory receptors making it easier to locate prey in murky water or sand. The Pig-Nosed Turtle is remarkably the only freshwater turtle with paddle-like limbs instead of claws, so it’s no surprise they are such strong swimmers. While these enlarged flippers make cruising through strong currents a turtle breeze, they also make it more difficult to move on land which is why they spend most of their time in the water.

Paddle on over to the Vancouver Aquarium’s Tropics exhibit to learn more about the one-of-a-kind Pig-Nosed Turtle, up close!

Things To Know



The Tropics Exhibit

The Tropics gallery showcases coral reefs, mangrove forests, rivers and lakes near the equator. Some of this gallery’s highlights include colourful tropical fishes, stingrays, and blacktip reef sharks.

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