Fun Indian Roofed Turtle Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Indian Roofed Turtle Facts For Kids

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The Indian roofed turtle (Pangshura tecta) is a small, palm-sized aquatic animal that can be found living in south Asian countries. As the name suggests, it is typically found in northern, central, and peninsular India. But it is also available in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal. The water animal spends most of its life swimming in large rivers and lakes, but it can also be seen on the banks of water bodies basking in the sun. Indian roofed turtle diet includes snails, worms, shrimps, crabs, and also natural food like aquatic plants. They may also adapt to commercial turtle food when kept in a tank. It is truly unfortunate how the population of this adorable animal keeps decreasing because of illegal trading and climate change. The steady decline in their numbers poses the question is the Indian roofed turtle endangered yet? IUCN Red List states that the species is Vulnerable, and their numbers are also slowly diminishing. To know about the family genus species and more of Indian roofed turtles, keep reading.

For more relatable content, check out these map turtle facts and Florida softshell turtle facts for kids.

Fun Indian Roofed Turtle Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Crabs, snails, worms, shrimps

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

3-14 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.2-0.3 oz (7-9 g)

How long are they?

9 in (23 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?


Skin Type

Carapace and plastron

What were their main threats?

Humans, Trading

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them?

Lakes, Rivers, Wetlands










Indian Roofed Turtle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Indian roofed turtle?

The reptile is a small brown turtle. Its scientific name is Pangshura tecta. The colorful animal belongs to the Geoemydidae family and the Pangshura genus.

What class of animal does an Indian roofed turtle belong to?

Indian roofed turtle (Pangshura tecta) belongs to the class, order Reptilia, Testudines respectively.

How many Indian roofed turtles are there in the world?

An accurate estimate of the number of Indian roofed turtles in the world is unavailable. But the turtle has been listed as a Vulnerable species, which would suggest their population is neither high nor on the rise.

Where does an Indian roofed turtle live?

Just like their name suggests, the Indian roofed turtle can be primarily found in central, northern, and peninsular India. But their geographic range also includes other south Asian countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan.

What is an Indian roofed turtle's habitat?

The Indian roofed turtle habitat is wetlands, rivers, and lakes, and other water sources. The species prefers large rivers like Godavari, Krishna, Mahanadi, and their tributaries. But their habitat also includes streams, canals, ponds, and oxbows. You may also find the tiny creature basking in the sun along river banks and on large boulders.

Who do Indian roofed turtles live with?

The turtle is a shy creature and prefers to live a solitary life. It is only common to see them with partners during mating season.

How long does an Indian roofed turtle live?

Pangshura tecta have a maximum lifespan of 10-15 years in the wild, but it may diminish to about 11 years when raised in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

Indian roofed turtle (Pangshura tecta) nest and breed between October to March. During this time, the male closes in on a suitable female partner and attempts to court them by swimming alongside them or circling them. After mating, the female Indian roofed turtle lays about 3-14 large-sized, white eggs in a nest. A maximum of 15 eggs can be found in a clutch. The nest is dug in the soil at a depth of 5.9-7.9 in (15-20 cm). The incubation process is a lengthy one as it takes nearly three to five months. The eggs turn bluish right before they are to hatch and reveal tiny hatchlings.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Indian roofed turtle (Pangshura tecta) is evaluated as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Their population is also known to be decreasing in number.

Indian Roofed Turtle Fun Facts

What do Indian roofed turtles look like?

The turtle is tiny and would fit right into the palm of an adult. It has a distinct roof on the topmost part of its shell wherefrom it gets its name. The carapace or shell is usually brown in color, but it may also sometimes be green with yellow and orange borders. Its plastrons (the bony underbelly that connects the carapace to the body) are red or orange in color. The head is crescent-shaped with black and yellow stripes. Its temple has yellow and red blotches, which form a V-mark. Jaws are yellow, limbs an olive green. The neck of the animal is black with multiple yellow bands and stripes. Males have longer and thicker tails with a prominent white band on them. They are also brighter and more colorful than females of the species. Females also tend to have bigger bodies.

Indian roofed turtle is a cute reptile.

How cute are they?

The tiny aquatic animals are palm-sized and are peppered with different colors all over their body, from green to orange, red to olive; the turtle sports various vibrant colors that immediately catch the fancy of people. The presence of a distinct roof-like structure at the upper part of their shell makes the species even more unique. It is both their undeniable physical and behavioral cuteness that makes them such a common and popular pet in south Asia.

How do they communicate?

The species leads a solitary life, so they don't feel the need to communicate much except when they are in search of a suitable mate. Around breeding season, males can be seen circling females or simply swimming by their side to make their presence known.

How big is an Indian roofed turtle?

Indian roofed turtle size is quite small. They have a length of 9 in (23 cm) on average. They are smaller than the common snapping turtle, which is 8-14 in (20.3-35.6 cm).

How fast can an Indian roofed turtle move?

The Indian roofed turtle (Pangshura tecta) can dive and swim quite efficiently, but their movements lack speed if they are not being attacked or chased by something they perceive to be dangerous.

How much does an Indian roofed turtle weigh?

The Indian roofed turtle (Pangshura tecta) is a lightweight turtle. It weighs only 0.2-0.3 oz (7-9 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

No specific name has been allotted to the male and female of the species. They are simply referred to as male and female Indian roofed turtles.

What would you call a baby Indian roofed turtle?

Young or baby Indian roofed turtles are called hatchlings.

What do they eat?

The animal is an omnivore and a scavenger. Indian roofed turtle food items include crabssnails, worms, crickets, and shrimps. They typically search for and feed on them when in the wild. They also feast on natural foods like aquatic plants, leafy vegetables, and fruits. In captivity, they will settle for commercial turtle food like mazuri pellets and fish food apart from plants and vegetables.

Are they dangerous?

No, the species is not dangerous in the least. In fact, they are the ones who are threatened. The turtle is often illegally traded for meat consumption and the making of traditional medicine.

Would they make a good pet?

The turtle is a common pet in many south Asian countries. It is quite playful and is known to get attached to its owner. They do, however, require quite a lot of things, such as clean water, adequate food, and a basking platform to thrive in captivity. Based on the international demand for specimens of the Indian roofed turtle for sale, it can be easily assessed just how popular the species is when it comes to domestication.

Did you know...

The Pangshura tecta are locally called kori kaitta. 

These animals like to swim in the cool water, but they also love to bask in the early morning sun. This helps regulate their temperature and also promotes the synthesis of Vitamin D in their body.

The male tecta develop a small protrusion called tubercle at the end of their tail around October, which is their breeding season. They shed it in March right before it is time to mate.

It is not illegal to keep Pangshura tecta as a pet in India, but since they are protected by the Wildlife Protection Act, it is prohibited to trade them nationally or internationally for whatsoever reason.

How did Indian roofed turtles get their name?

The species derives its Indian roofed turtle name from its peculiar shell structure. The topmost part of their carapace has a rather distinct and unique look that best resembles a 'roof'.

Are Indian roofed turtles endangered? 

The turtle is listed as a Vulnerable species by IUCN. However, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that they are on the brink of becoming an Endangered species. Their population took a nosedive when they were captured from Pakistan to be sold in China, where they were used in different delicacies for their Vitamin D content. Thousands of turtles were captured and killed in the process. In fact, the Indian brown-roofed turtle is still illegally traded as pets and for making of traditional medicine.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these African spurred tortoise fun facts and hawksbill sea turtle interesting facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable turtle coloring pages.

Second image by CLPramod.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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