MOTELO TURTLES (Chelonoides denticulata)

The motelo turtles are terrestrial and they are the biggest specie in continental South America. They are solitary and omnivore. In the rainy season they feed from fruits and mushrooms, while in the dry season they eat a variety of flowers. Also, their feeding habits are diverse since they also eat dead prey, insects, small mammals and even feces. The gestation period of the female varies from 26 to 72 days and they can lay up to eight eggs. The sex of the babies will depend on the temperature.

The motelo´s populations in the wild are threated for the people who collect the eggs and hunt the turtles for their own consumption, while others specimens are sold as pets. Normally, the people perforate the turtle´s shell to keep them tied up. This will cause much pain to the turtle since they have many of their vital organs and nerves.

Conservation status: Vulnerable
Longevity in captivity: 40-50 years