Northern river terrapin

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Northern river terrapin
Batagur baska.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Geoemydidae
Genus: Batagur
Species: B. baska
Binomial name
Batagur baska
(Gray, 1830)[1]
  • Emys baska Gray, 1830
  • Emys batagur Gray, 1831
  • Testudo baska Gray, 1831
  • Trionyx (Tetraonyx) cuvieri Gray, 1831
  • Tetronyx longicollis Lesson, 1834
  • Tetronyx baska Duméril & Bibron, 1835
  • Tetraonyx lessonii Duméril & Bibron, 1835
  • Tetraonyx longicollis Duméril & Bibron, 1835
  • Clemmys (Clemmys) batagur Fitzinger, 1835
  • Hydraspis (Tetronyx) lessonii Fitzinger, 1835
  • Emys tetraonyx Temminck & Schlegel, 1835
  • Tetraonyx batagur Gray, 1844
  • Batagur (Batagur) baska Gray, 1856
  • Clemmys longicollis Strauch, 1862
  • Tetraonyx baska Gray, 1869
  • Batagur batagur Lindholm, 1929
  • Tetraonyx lessoni Bourret, 1941 (ex errore)
  • Batagur baska ranongensis Nutaphand, 1979
  • Batagur ranongensis Nutaphand, 1979
  • Batagur basca Anan'eva, 1988 (ex errore)
  • Batagur baska baska Stubbs, 1989
  • Batagur batagur batagur Joseph-Ouni, 2004
  • Batagur batagur ranongensis Joseph-Ouni, 2004

The northern river terrapin (Batagur baska), is a species of riverine turtle. It is one of the most critically endangered turtle species according to a 2000 assessment by the IUCN.


River terrapins of different age cohorts: (from top to bottom) hatchling of about a week old, one year old and two years old.

Carapace moderately depressed, with a vertebral keel in the young, which keel disappears in the adult; nuchal broader than long; first vertebral as broad in front as behind, or a little broader; vertebrals 2 to 4 subequal, much broader than long in the young, nearly as long as broad and as broad as the costals in the adult, the postero-lateral border of the third vertebral strongly concave. Plastron large, strongly angulate laterally in the young, convex in the adult, truncate anteriorly, angularly notched posteriorly; the width of the bridge exceeds the length of the posterior lobe; the longest median suture is that between the abdominals, the shortest that between the gulars, the latter never more than half that between the humerals; inguinal large, axillary smaller. Head rather small; snout pointed, produced, directed upwards; jaws with denticulated edge, upper feebly notched mesially; the width of the lower jaw at the symphysis nearly equals the diameter of the orbit. Limbs with transversely enlarged, band-like scales. Maximum carapace length is 60 cm. Upper surface of shell and soft parts olive-brown, lower surface yellowish. [3]

Common names[edit]

In English the Batagur baska has common names of northern river terrapin,[1] batagur,[4][5] common batagur,[4] four-toed terrapin,[4] river terrapin,[4][6] giant river turtle,[5] giant river terrapin,[5] mangrove terrapin[6] and Asian river terrapin[6]


The Batagur baska is found only in Bangladesh, parts of India (West Bengal and Orissa), Myanmar, Cambodia(?). Although it might have been extirpated from Cambodia.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Rhodin 2011, p. 000.187
  2. ^ Fritz Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World". Vertebrate Zoology 57 (2): 212–213. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Boulenger, G.A.(1890) Fauna of British India. Reptilia and Batrachia.
  4. ^ a b c d The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species - Batagur baska (Batagur), Common Batagur, Four-toed Terrapin, River Terrapin
  5. ^ a b c Global Wildlife Conservation — Field Expeditions: Southwest Cambodia: Results: Mangrove Terrapin
  6. ^ a b c Batagur baska Field Guide - Asian Turtle Conservation Network
  • Das, Indraneil (1989) "Batagur baska in Orissa" Hamadryad: The Journal of the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust 14(1): 2-3
  • Gray,J.E. (1857) "Notice of some Indian tortoises (including the description of a new species presented to the British Museum by Professor Oldham)" Annals and Magazine of Natural History 19(2): 342-344

External links[edit]