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Podocnemis unifilis.jpg
Podocnemis unifilis,
yellow-spotted river turtle
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Pleurodira
Family: Podocnemididae
Genus: Podocnemis
Wagler, 1830

6 species, see text

Podocnemis is a genus of aquatic turtles, commonly known as South American river turtles, in the family Podocnemididae. The genus consists of six extant species occurring in tropical South America.[1] Three additional species are only known from fossils.


These six species are extant.[1]

Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Podocnemis.

Fossil species[edit]

The following three species are extinct, all from late Neogene deposits in South America:

Cast of the skull of the extinct species P. bassleri (AMNH 1662)

The Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian) species "Podocnemis" parva Haas, 1978, based on remains from the West Bank, is now assigned to Algorachelus, as A. parvus.[3]


  1. ^ a b Podocnemis. The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.
  2. ^ a b Wood RC (1997). "Turtles". In: Kay RF, Madden RH, Cifelli RL, Flynn JJ (editors). Vertebrate Paleontology in the Neotropics. The Miocene Fauna of La Venta, Colombia. Washington, District of Columbia: Smithsonian Institution Press.
  3. ^ Pérez-García, A., 2018. New information on the Cenomanian bothremydid turtle Algorachelus based on new, well-preserved material from Spain, Foss. Rec., 21, 119-135, https://doi.org/10.5194/fr-21-119-2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • Boulenger GA (1889). Catalogue of the Chelonians, Rhynchocephalians, and Crocodiles in the British Museum (Natural History). New Edition. London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). x + 311 pp. + Plates I-III. (Genus Podocnemis, pp. 200–201, Figures 50-51).
  • Goin CJ, Goin OB, Zug GR (1978). Introduction to Herpetology, Third Edition. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company. xi + 378 pp. ISBN 0-7167-0020-4. (Podocnemis, pp. 149, 271-272).
  • Wagler J (1830). Natürliches System der AMPHIBIEN, mit vorangehender Classification der SÄUGTHIERE und VÖGEL. Ein Beitrag zur vergleichenden Zoologie. Munich, Stuttgart and Tübingen: J.G. Cotta. vi + 354 pp. + one plate. (Podocnemis, new genus, p. 135). (in German and Latin).