Spiny Softshell Turtle

The lightweight, leathery shell of this turtle allows it to swim faster than most other turtles. It also makes it possible for the turtle to bury itself in sand with only its head visible. This allows it to hide from both predators and prey.

This turtle can absorb oxygen through its skin and through the lining of the throat and cloaca, allowing it to hibernate underwater for up to 6 months.

North America

At A Glance


Rivers, streams, lakes, marshes


Insects, aquatic invertebrates, fish


Eastern US, Southeastern Canada, Northern Mexico