Pig-Nosed Turtle Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

You've probably heard of a pig, and you've probably heard of a turtle, but what about a pig-nosed turtle? Do they really look like pigs? This lesson will teach you how they got their name as well as some fun facts about their diet, habitat, and life cycle!

Pig-Nosed Turtle Appearance

It's true! Pig-nosed turtles really do have snouts that look like pig snouts! They have nostrils and a big snout that sticks out, just like a pig's! This nose works like a snorkel when they are swimming; it lets them breathe while the rest of their bodies are swimming under water.

Pig-nosed turtle
pig-nosed turtle

That's where the resemblance ends, though. Like most turtles, pig-nosed turtles are gray or green with their bottom shells being lighter colors like beige and yellowish. They have big flippers that help them swim. They can get really big, weighing as much as 50 pounds, and they can be almost two feet long. Females are usually bigger than males, but males have bigger and longer tails. Isn't it fun to picture a pig-nosed turtle and an actual pig sitting next to each other? The pig would probably be bigger, but not by much.


Pig-nosed turtles are omnivores, which means that they eat both plants and animals. They usually eat more plants than animals, though, and they really like to eat fig plants - both the fruit and the leaves. They also like to snack on water plants. When they do eat meat, it's small water animals like worms and fish. They use their big snouts to sniff out food in the wild!


Pig-nosed turtles are freshwater turtles, which means they live in bodies of water like rivers and lakes instead of oceans, which have saltwater. They spend almost all of their lives in the water because their flippers make it awkward for them to walk on land; the only time they leave is when the female leaves to make her nest. They move around a lot in the water and can cover large stretches of rivers and lakes. Males stay in the water their whole lives! They can be found in Australia, New Guinea and Papua.

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