Yellow-spotted Amazon river turtle in exhibit

Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtle

Scientific Name
Podocnemis unifilis
Amazon River
Rivers, lakes, and flooded forests
Estimated Wild Population
Yellow-spotted Amazon river turtle Endangered Status Graph - Vulnerable Endangered Status Graph - Vulnerable

More Information

Yellow-spotted Amazon River turtles are some of the largest turtles in South America, with females reaching up to twice the size of males. They have a dark upper shell and yellow spots across their head. Both sexes eat a variety of food, ranging from fruit and plant material to fish and small invertebrates. Females lay two clutches each year, with as many as three dozen eggs per clutch. After hatching from nests dug into sandy riverbanks, newborns take to the river.

Did You Know?

Yellow-spotted Amazon River turtles can live up to 70 years.

These turtles occupy tributaries and lakes along the Amazon River but travel inland during annual floods.

Males court females by nipping at their feet and tail.

Animal Care staff working with seal

Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

Learn More

Support Your Zoo

Two Chilean flamingos in exhibit

Animals Depend On People Too

When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.

Adopt an Animal

Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.

Browse the Wish List

African penguin eating a fish

Take Action With Us

Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

Take Action

Empty Playlist