top of page

Common name: Big- headed Amazon sideneck

Scientific name: Peltocephalus dumerilianus


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptlia

Order: Teatudines

Family: Peltocedusidae

Genus: Peltocephalus

Species: P. dumerilianus


A Big- Headed Amazon turtle are not a turtle you see very often. Well, they are on the other side of the world. They are sometimes unique.  Males get to the length of 48 cm. Females get to 32 cm. The females are smaller than the males. This turtle can be the same as other turtles but, because of its head and upper jaw are big it is very different to other turtles.   The upper jaw being a hook that helps gather prey easier. The jaws are a tan colored.  The most common color there is for this turtle is a dark blue or to black. 


The habitat is manly very wet places, such as river banks, ponds, streams, and rivers, adjacent flood fields, oxbows, lagoons, and swamps. They are found in many places. Places where it these Amazon turtles are found are in French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, and Venezuela. They can be in any river. If there is black water be careful of where you step.  When the turtle is under water it shell is as black the water is an easy place to catch prey. These turtles are helping the world by keeping the fish population in balance.


These turtles are omnivorous. They feed on invertebrates, fish, algae, aquatic plants, fruits, and seeds. Many other turtles will fight for food in the rivers.  Also the Big- headed turtle have to fight for their life. Why? Well because of mankind. They hunt the turtles then sell them.


The populations of these turtles are crazy. When the turtles mate the female produces 7 to 25 eggs. The nest they use is called a flask- shaped nest. The nest is 12 to 24 cm deep. The nest is in the floodplains.  Then birth of maybe 25 offspring.   Not all survive, Because of predators. The dry season in Colombia is the best  season for the turtles to be hatch.


Who eats the Big-Headed Amazon turtles, well People, birds, and other predators.    By hunting, people have gone after these turtles and eat them even kept them alive to be sold.   In Brazil people would gather the eggs and wait till they hatch and are old enough to be sold.  But, not in the streets, but, in the shadows. It is illegal for these turtles to be sold in public.


Name: Michelle D.

Date: 06/2009



Perez-Eman, j. L. (1990)(Trab. Esp. Grado. Univ. Simon Bolivar)

bottom of page