Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle

Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle

Recently at Devil’s Lake State Park we’ve run into some large soft shell turtles! Specifically, Eastern Spiny Softshell turtles. Here in Wisconsin, there are two types of softshell turtles, the Eastern Spiny and the Midland Smooth softshell. While both turtles are still fairly easy to find, the Spiny populations are declining and the Midlands have a status of “special concern”. As far as I know, only the Eastern Spiny lives at Devil’s Lake (Midland Smooth Softshells prefer rivers.). If you do come across a turtle along the shoreline, enjoy a short visit, take a picture, then let them be.

Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle - Devil's Lake State Park

Notice the row of spines along the front edge of the shell.

By the way, Easter Spiny Softshell turtles are aggressive and don’t like being picked up.  They bite.  Hard.

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