Giant arrau turtle in shallow water

Giant river turtle

Giant river turtles lay their eggs on sandbanks and riverbanks when the water level in the river is low. Any unhatched eggs are drowned when the river level rises again.

Scientific name: Podocnemis expansa

Rank: Species

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Map showing the distribution of the Giant river turtle taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Giant river turtle can be found in a number of locations including: Amazon Rainforest, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Giant river turtle distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Near Threatened

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 1996

Classified by: IUCN 2.3


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Reptiles
  5. Turtles, terrapins and tortoises
  6. Pelomedusidae
  7. Podocnemis
  8. Giant river turtle