A WHOPPING seven kilogram broad shell turtle was found near Bullarah on Saturday.
Pat Johnston found the female wandering up the dry beds of Ballin Boora Creek.
How Bullarah’s broad-shell turtle measures up
- Weight: 7.1 kg
- Top Shell – straight line: 400mm
- Top Shell – curvature: 450mm
- Width – straight line: 290mm
- Width – curvature: 410mm above front leg
- Width – curvature: 450mm above rear leg
“It was after the 10mm of rain we had,” he said.
She was placed on a copy of ‘The Australian’ newspaper as proof of size that “it wasn’t a fishing tale”.
Unfolded, the sheet is 570mm by 390mm and the whopper easily exceeded the paper.
Mr Johnston was quick to take some pictures for his website:www.bullarah-fauna.pictures
“When she extended her head she dwarfed the newspaper estimate with head and tail extended 620mm-650mm. We placed a 50 cent piece on the rear foot to provide a size comparison,” he said.
Mr Johnston said Ballin Boora Creek was in a state of decline after losing its high security water licence in 2015.
“We now fear that the area will be further impacted with current proposal to reduce the delivery of Environmental Water and the Northern Basin by MDBA [Murray Darling Basin Authority],” he said.
According to National Aquarium statistics, the Broad-Shelled turtle is one of Australia’s largest turtle species. It’s snake-like neck can add up to 80 percent to their body length and is useful for ambushing prey. They are omnivores and opportunistic, eating whatever they can catch.
The species’ carapace can measure up to 20 inches in length and are typically are found in permanent bodies of fresh water in the Murray-Darling River system of South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, the coastal basins of southeastern Queensland, and on Fraser Island.