Mangled remains of a fruit bat.
(Photograph by Horst Flotow)

Spiny Terrapin (Heosemys spinosa) scavenging on a bat carcass

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, forest north of MacRitchie Reservoir; 20 July 2014; 1030 hrs.

Observation: An adult Spiny Terrapin of about 25 cm carapace length was found feeding on a fresh but severely mangled carcass of a Fruit Bat (Cynopterus sp.). The terrapin, apparently startled by the contributor, walked quickly away from the carcass which immediately attracted blowflies.

Remarks: The Spiny Terrapin is said to be primarily herbivorous, but is known to occasionally consume insects, earthworms and carrion (Bonin et al., 2006: 322). The present observation illustrates the scavenging behaviour of this species.

Reference:

  • Bonin, F., B. Devaux & A. Dupr√©, 2006. Turtles of the World. English edition. A & C Black Publishers Ltd, London. 416 pp.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 250

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