Bold, begging crocodile and terrapins near Olifants

Serrated Hinged Terrapin

Pelusios sinuatus

The Serrated Hinged Terrapin is commonly encountered in large rivers, dams and lakes from northern Kwazulu-Natal, through Mpumalanga and Limpopo and northwards to Somalia. They’re often seen basking on rocks, fallen trees and sandbanks (and even on top of hippos!). During wet weather, Serrated Hinged Terrapins will migrate over land and establish themselves in isolated bodies of water. When their watery abodes dry up during the dry season or a drought, these terrapins will aestivate under the roots of trees on the bank. They are carnivorous, feeding on aquatic invertebrates (especially molluscs), amphibians, frogs and fish and scavenging on crocodile kills, and have been recorded as picking ticks from wallowing animals. In the summer months, females lay clutches of 7-30 eggs near the water. Those eggs that are not discovered by water monitors hatch 3-6 months later. Fully grown they measure up to 55cm in length, with the heavier females weighing as much as 7kg.


14 thoughts on “Serrated Hinged Terrapin

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      To me he looks like an alien emerging from his flying saucer, stiff after a long journey, insisting on being taken to our leader…
      Where I’d take him I really don’t know. Depends on how upset he sounds, I guess.



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