Malayan Box Turtle ( Cuora amboinensis) rights itself

on 23rd January 2022

An upside down Malayan box turtle, Cuora amboinensis, was seen righting itself.  The video below by Francis Seow-Choen shows the turtle failed on the first attempt but got it right on the second.

Photo 1. The upside down turtle extended its neck and pushed its head against the ground.
Photo 2. As force was applied on its head, it extended its limbs and flailed them around.
Photo 3. The turtle managed to tip its body onto its left side.
Photo 4. After righting itself, it stuck its head and limbs out and slowly ambled away.

Francis Seow-Choen’s video showing the upside down turtle right itself after two attempts.

These turtles inhabit freshwater bodies like streams, ponds and lakes. The animals are native to large parts of South-East Asia and the surrounding islands. They are often seen feeding on vegetation and fruits but will take invertebrates like earthworms and slugs too. The tell-tale yellow stripes on the head helps in the identification of this species.

They are often found in Chinese temples and devotees often release these turtles into the wild.  It is also often seeked out as medicinal food.




3. A guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Singapore by Kelvin KP Lim and Francis LK Lim ©1992

All photos are screengrabs from Francis Seow-Choen’s video.

Article by Teo Lee Wei

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