Bizarre Desert Turtle?!

Bizarre Desert Turtle?!

– [Coyote] The
turtle’s right here! Ooh, he’s burying
down, hold on, hold on! No, no, no, no! (dramatic music) You can literally
walk for miles across the desert and never come
across a single drop of water. So it’s safe to say that
the last place you would think to look for
aquatic turtles is in the middle of
this parched ecosystem. I can smell water! Can you smell that? – [Mark] Oh yeah. It’s like the air
just cooled off. – Wow, feels great down here. Alright, let’s move up slow
just in case there’s any animal like right here. Sometimes it happens. You approach a body of water
and all of a sudden “boom!” An animal jumps in. Wow. It is crystal clear. Not gonna be hard to
find animals in this. Alright, let’s get into it. Today, I will be exploring
the flowing waters of the Santa Cruz River, which
runs like a life giving vein through Arizona’s
Sonoran Desert. This water system is home to
many different animals, but the one creature I am
specifically searching for today is a reptile known as the
spiny softshell turtle. Wow, this is a pretty
cool environment. I’ve never been in the
water before in the desert. Look at this! It is just globs
of algae and sand. It’s like this magical mix
of desert and swampland. This is super cool! Alright, well let’s
head this way up river. You can see that the
water is fairly shallow. It’s also crystal clear,
which means if we see any animals, we should
be able to catch ’em. Now, when I’m looking for
turtles in Ohio, I’m used to looking at a mound in
the mud and saying “Oh! That’s a carapace buried down.” Same tactic is gonna be
used here, because this time a day, spiny softshells are
burrowing in the shallow sand and just sticking their
noses up out of the water so that they can breathe. Many different creatures we
can come across out here. You guys ready? – [Mark] Alright, let’s do it. – Mario, you good? Alright, let’s keep moving. We have tried for
many years to get the spiny softshell turtle in
front of the cameras, with unfortunately, no success. However, I have a good feeling
that today might be our lucky day. (airy, pleasant music) Whoa. These trees are like… Covered in cotton. It’s like I’m walking through
an entire world of spiders right now. All these webs. Wow, there are spiders
all over the trees. Let me see if you
guys can see this. Look at that. Covered in spiders. I know this would probably be
somebody’s worst nightmare. If you had arachnophobia,
this is not where you would wanna be. (intense music) Turtle! – [Mark] What kind? – Softshell! Aww, man, it was
booking, though! Ow! – [Mark] You okay? – He nailed my knee. Wow, it was fast, just caught
out of the corner of my eye. Missed it, though. Not big, only about that big. – [Mark] So they
are in the water. – 100 percent a
softshell, though. Man, he was just jetting
right down the middle of that. Okay, that’s a
good sign, though. This is the sort of area
there they would be laying out in the bankments. Keep your eyes peeled. These turtles are hard to catch. But at least having seen
one proves that they live in this river. So we headed further into the
wild, searching for slower moving water. A lot of times, they’ll bury
up underneath an embankment like this. And that’s what I’m looking for. There’s a turtle right here! Ooh, he’s burying
down, hold on, hold on! I can get him! Got him! – [Mark] Nice! – Whoa! They are so
unbelievably slippery! I went to the net for a second,
I was like “Maybe we should get him with the net.” Feel how slippery
this turtle is! He started burying down
underneath the sand. Yes, there it is! That is a spiny softshell! – [Mark] That’s our turtle! – Whoo! That is exactly what
I hoped to find. What about that timing? I mean literally, as I’m saying “Yeah, right up underneath
these embankments sometimes you’ll see
them burying down.” I just kind of slightly looked
up and saw movement out of the corner of my eye and his
shell was literally burying down into the sand. – [Mark] Great grab. – Alright, well
let’s get it, um… – Let’s go over here where
I can get my big camera out. – Okay. Yes! Hah! Cannot believe we got one! Hah! There it is! That is the spiny
softshell turtle. You guys have no idea how
long I’ve been trying to get one of these turtles up
close for the cameras. We tried to do this episode
before in Ohio and they have alluded me on every
single expedition. And then of course the
episode doesn’t end up getting released. And sure enough, it’s here in
a river system in the Sonoran Desert that we finally
manage to catch one. Now let’s take a good look
at the structure of this turtle’s body. I’m gonna very carefully
tilt it up like this, Mark. – [Mark] Whoa. – And take a look
at that carapace – [Mark] That is something else. – Right? It’s very streamlined. Extremely smooth. You’ll notice that it doesn’t
have typical scutes like most turtle species. Go ahead, put your hand out
there and touch the shell of that turtle and tell
me what it feels like. – [Mark] Oh, wow. That feels just like leather. – Exactly, right? And it’s very pliable. That’s what allows these
turtles to quickly bury down in the sand and hide up
underneath embankments. On top of that, the streamlined
body structure allows him to move very, very
quickly underwater. I love the feet! Look at those feet! It’s like a mix between
a foot and a fin. These turtles are perfectly
aquatic and very rarely do you see them on land. Only out ever to
bask and warm up. As we know, they are
ectotherms, which means that they need the sun to
heat up their bodies. Oh, I see, you looking
at my hat there. Don’t you bite my nose. Now, I do not want to take a
bite from one of these turtles. They have extremely
sharp beaks, razor sharp in fact, and they use
that beak to catch and kill their food. What they’re looking for out
here are small fish, frogs, crayfish, anything that
this turtle comes across and can turn into a
meal, it’s fair game. They are opportunistic
predators. Ow, ow, ow, I am
getting clawed up here. Here, let me put him down
in the water for a second. Watch this. I’m gonna hold onto the
shell really tight, let’s see if you can see those
feet in action. There we go, look at that. – [Mark] Oh yeah. – [Coyote] Can you see that? – [Mark] So this is a
very aquatic turtle. – Yes. And they are very,
very slippery. Look at that. You see its feet going? And look at that, you see
the head sticking up above the water there? They have extremely long necks
and that’s what allows them to stay buried down in the sand. And all they have to do is
extend that little piggie looking nose up through the
water, through the sand, just like that, and they
can breathe without even being noticed. That’s another reason why
they are so incredibly hard to to find. Oh, this is kinda cool. Can you see these little spines? On the back of the shell there? – [Mark] Yeah, I can,
they’re like little nodules. – [Coyote] That is
where they get the name spiny softshell turtle from. Okay, let’s look at the
underside of the turtle. The plastron. – [Mark] Extremely white. – Very white, very very smooth. Also helps in allowing these
turtles to move quickly across the sandy
basin of this river. Whoa, he’s so cool! Alright, let’s do this. I’m going to set him down
gently here and look at the camouflage of this
turtle against the sand. Can you see that? Now, notice the coloration
in the turtle’s skin. It’s very light, just like
the sand, and all these little dark markings
help it blend in– Ooh, he tried to bite me. Blend in perfectly to the
granules of sand that are on the basin of the river. Look at that, look at his
head just up above the water there and boop, just like
that it goes down and then the turtle can quickly
make a run for it. I gotcha, come here, we’re
gonna hang out just a little bit longer. Wow! This is gotta be the coolest
feeling turtle I have ever held. It is so slimy. Whoa, he’s so cool! I can’t believe we caught one! He’s clawing up my
hand pretty good, too. Well how cool was this? Finally catching a
spiny softshell turtle
and of all places, here in the Sonoran Desert. I’m Coyote Peterson, be brave! Stay wild. We’ll see you on
the next adventure. Alright, let’s get him
back into the river. Watch how fast he takes off. (dramatic music) Exploring the Santa Cruz
River was an adventure unlike any we have embarked upon in
the Sonoran Desert and was truly one for the memory books. The spiny softshell is
technically a nonnative reptile to the Sonoran Desert. However, over the past
quarter century, they have established a strong breeding
population and are not considered by most to
be a permanent resident. This is definitely one creature
that everyone out there watching has been asking to
see, so I’m glad we could finally get the Coyote
Pack up close with the spiny softshell turtle. If you thought the spiny
softshell was a unique looking turtle, make sure to go
back and watch the episode where I got face to
face with the enormous Galapagos tortoise. And don’t forget, subscribe! So you can join me and
the crew on this season of Dragon Tails.

100 thoughts on “Bizarre Desert Turtle?!

  1. 6:35 โ€œnow I donโ€™t want to get bitten by one of these turtlesโ€ Goes and gets bit by freakin SnAPpiNg TuRtLE

  2. At 7:26 he said all they have to do with the little piggy nose that made me laugh so hard๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†

  3. A couple days ago I found one of these in the middle of the road. But I live in the middle of the mohave desert tens of miles away from any body of water. She was all dry and dirty. I suspect someone took it home as a pet and it escaped or something. She's been happy in my bath tub as I've been building a new habitat for her. She's a picky eater though still trying to find something she enjoys.

  4. I love soft shell turtles we found a nest by our pond and we were checking them for so long and then one day these kids found them and cracked some of the eggs and killed like 5 of them we went out and saved them and we got like 8 of the the 10 eggs we were very happy and they are the cutest things in the entire world and we saved some lives. ๐Ÿ˜€ and of course we put them back in the pond

  5. I have a baby snapping turtle and I'm having a hard time getting him to eat. I've gotten turtle food and even sumerged him in water with the food. I haven't even seen him open his mouth. What should I do?


  7. I found one of these ! In Arizona I caught one in a fishing area I go to… poor thing I thought I had hooked itโ€™s nose and it turned inside out… I was only like 16 not too sure what my friend did to it.. maybe ate it

  8. Alright how many of you clicked because the turtle is from the amazing world of gum ball and because itโ€™s fricking brave wilderness

  9. guys if you think this turtle is the evil turtle from gumball your wrong the real evil turtle is an African turtle called a trionyx

  10. 6:33 โ€œmust bite, bite, bite. Must eat for strength to bite, bite, bite. Make little turtles to bite more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *