Razorback Musk Turtle Plastron Question

Parais11

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I just picked up a Razorback musk turtle. I was told it was between 2 and 3 years old (something tells me it is much older). I’m curious if what I see in the plastron is normal? There is flesh as opposed to shell. What can this mean? Also any way to tell the sex, I guess female because of the smaller tail, but it’s just a guess. 6A8471FC-A45F-42BB-B74B-E4BF9E358312.jpeg 946CA059-0B36-43CB-8ACE-D356CD7965C1.jpeg DF333325-2908-4B8F-861A-F21286D95BD7.jpeg 66295988-3B6A-452D-BD9D-9E24CA660C89.jpeg
 

Yvonne G

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Such a cute little monkey! (I don't know the answer to your question)
 

GregsTurtleHaven

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Looks like a typical wild caught adult female, much older than 2-3 years old. The large areas of skin on the plastron are normal, and highly vascularized for oxygen absorbtion. Really cool stuff.
If you want captive bred razorback musks in the future, it might be best to buy hatchlings as adults available are nearly always wild caught and theres no guarantee on the health and history of those animals. That said, Carinatus are hardy, intelligent and rewarding captives, and this turtle should be with you for many years to come
 

GregsTurtleHaven

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What’s the lifespan of these guys? Can you tell the sex? Thank you again for the info!
20-30 years is a fair estimate. Definitely a female with that short tail. I have a couple females i keep outdoors and they do quit well, and all musks can thrive in large aquariums as well
 

Parais11

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Any idea on her age? I know it would be a guess but do you think more like 5 or more like 20 lol. Just curious. She seems to be doing well either way.
 

Markw84

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I have not seen one with that much space between scutes on the plastron. And I've seen lots of razorbacks. It looks like there was damage / shell rot that has exposed some of the bone there. Here is a more normal plastron:

razorback plastron.jpg razorback plastron 2.jpg

As you can see, there is a normal small amount of space between scutes, but all the scute edges on your's looks damaged and not a normal seam. As long as otherwise healthy and eating well, it should heal and be OK.

I agree female. Absolutely no way to guess age. Does have an older look = more than 3 years. Also certainly looks wild caught.
 

GregsTurtleHaven

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I have not seen one with that much space between scutes on the plastron. And I've seen lots of razorbacks. It looks like there was damage / shell rot that has exposed some of the bone there. Here is a more normal plastron:

View attachment 284051 View attachment 284052

As you can see, there is a normal small amount of space between scutes, but all the scute edges on your's looks damaged and not a normal seam. As long as otherwise healthy and eating well, it should heal and be OK.

I agree female. Absolutely no way to guess age. Does have an older look = more than 3 years. Also certainly looks wild caught.
With age, that central area of skin expands over time, that hap-hazrd look is normal. Especially in wild caught animals. Youll also see this in Minor and Peltifer to an extent. The images you showed appear to be smaller animals a few years old. For some great images of wild Carinatus and other musk species, check out my buddy @groverbrown on instagram.
 
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