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Murray River turtle

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Kingdom  Animalia
Subphylum  Vertebrata
Suborder  Pleurodira
Scientific name  Emydura macquarii
Rank  Species
Phylum  Chordata
Order  Testudines
Family  Chelidae
Higher classification  Emydura
Murray River turtle epyimgcomayyhst33477391359232murrayrivertu
Similar  Emydura, Turtle, Eastern long‑necked turtle, Reptile, Chelodina expansa

Australian murray river turtle eating time

The Murray River turtle (Emydura macquarii ) is a wide-ranging species that occurs throughout many of the rivers of the eastern half of Australia. It is found primarily in the Murray River Basin and all its major tributaries, along with a number of coastal rivers up the New South Wales Coast. It is also found in the coastal Queensland Rivers and the Cooper Creek Ecosystem, along with Fraser Island.


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It is infected with the flatworm Choanocotyle elegans.

Albino murray river turtles

Collection history and discovery

Murray River turtle Murray River turtle

This species has a long and complicated nomenclatural history, including even its original description. The holotype was originally collected by René Primevère Lesson (1794–1849) and Prosper Garnot (1794–1838) in 1824. During an expedition on the La Coquille, captained by Louis Isidore Duperrey, which visited Sydney, Australia, from 17 January - 25 March 1824, they visited Bathurst, and collected the holotype from the Macquarie River.

Murray River turtle Murray River turtle Wikipedia

The first description of the species was offered by Baron Georges Cuvier in 1829, but this description is nowadays seen as a nomen nudum. Hence, the description by John Edward Gray in 1831 is considered the valid description.

Sex determination

Murray River turtle Turtles 39communicate39 before they hatch so they emerge from their

E. macquarii uses the XY sex-determination system, making it one of the few turtle species that has a genetic SDM. The X and Y chromosomes are macrochromsomes, unlike most GSD turtles including its close relative Chelodina longicollis, which has microchromosomes. It is also hypothesized that this turtle's sex chromosomes were formed from the translocation of an ancestral Y microchromosome onto an autosome.


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The generic name, Emydura, is derived from the Greek emys (freshwater turtle) and the Greek oura (tail), Latinized to ura. Its grammatical gender is feminine. The specific epithet, macquarii, refers to the turtle's type locality: the Macquarie River. It would seem that the species was not named after Governor Lachlan Macquarie for whom the river is named.

The subspecific name, krefftii, is in honor of German-born Australian naturalist Gerard Krefft.

Common names

Common names for E. macquarii include Murray River turtle, Murray River tortoise, Macquarie turtle, and Murray short neck turtle.

Conservation status

Emydura macquarii is listed as 'Vulnerable' in the state of South Australia under relevant state legislation.


Murray River turtle Wikipedia

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Chelodina expansa