Here we have a Malaysian giant turtle. Its
scientific name is orlitia borneensis. They are found in large bodies of fresh water such
as lakes and rivers. They are highly aquatic species, and they are known from only Malasia,
Sumatra, and Borneo. You can see that this is a fairly large turtle, its carapace which
is its top shell, can reach about thirty-one inches or two and a half feet in length. The
majority of these animals are very dark colored, they have a very narrow carapace, and it’s
very oval. The head is relatively large and broad with a slightly projecting snout. Like
many turtles, the males often have longer, thicker tails than the females do. It takes
about ten to twenty years for this species to become sexually mature, and the females
will nest on river banks or river islands. These turtles have very elongated eggs and
the shells are hard but very brittle. The speed of development and the sex of the hatchlings
is determined by the temperature that they’re incubated at. This species of turtle is an
omnivore, eating both plant and animal matter. This species is actually endangered, it’s
endangered for a variety of reasons. First, its meat is considered a delicacy in China.
The shell of this turtle is actually believed to heal general health ailments, such as cancer,
and it’s even believed to have sexual rejuvenation properties. This turtle is often smuggled
in very large numbers into meat markets. They are kept in crates, stacked on top of one
another without food and water. It often leaves this turtle becoming dehydrated and parasitized.
They are actually caught by hooks and lines that get caught in their esophagus, and their
mouths. There are laws against trafficking these turtles in general, especially in Indonesia,
but it still happens and it’s still a very common occurrence.