What Do Soft-Shelled Turtles Eat?

soft-shelled-turtles-eat Credit: Peter Wilson/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

Soft-shelled turtles are primarily carnivores and eat any aquatic life small enough for them to capture. They have extremely long necks and pig-like noses that allow them to sniff for food between the cracks and crevices of rocks. Their diet includes worms, crickets, crayfish and shrimp. According to About.com, larger turtles eat pinky mice and small amphibians, such as frogs.

Reptiles Magazine points out that the coloration of a soft-shelled turtle varies from tan or light brown to gray or almost black. This camouflage allows the turtle to blend in with its surroundings, and its flattened body gives it the ability to hide below the substrate and ambush unsuspecting prey.

In captivity, soft-shelled turtles adapt to eating floating turtle pellets; however, there are a number of considerations for anyone thinking of keeping a soft-shelled turtle as a pet. Although the average size of these turtles is 12 inches, they are capable of growing to almost 2 feet in length. They live for a long time, requiring a commitment of up to 50 years or longer. Soft-shelled turtles can be aggressive and a danger to smaller tank mates. They require some specific tank conditions in order to remain healthy and active in a captive environment.