The Roti Island Snake-necked Turtle (Chelodina mccordi) is a special species here at the Turtle Conservancy as it was described in 1994 by Turtle Conservancy Board Chairman, Anders Rhodin. The unique species belongs to the family Chelidae and the suborder Pleurodira. Unlike their counterpart the Cryptodirans, Pleurodirans have the interesting trait of not being able to tuck their head and neck inside their shells. Instead, the turtles of this family withdraw their typically extremely long necks along the side of their body.
The month of April at the Turtle Conservancy’s Conservation Center has been full of babies! The Critically Endangered species include Burmese Star Tortoises, Pancake Tortoises, Roti Island Snake-necked Turtles and a Golden Coin Turtle. We also hatched two amazing and tiny Parrot-beaked Tortoises. This incredible little tortoise is one of the smallest tortoises on the planet and it is also one of the four chelonian species that reside on our Geometric Tortoise Preserve in South Africa.