Kakadu National Park

Wednesday 17 July 2019

The pig-nosed turtle, or warradjan, is a strange-looking creature.

The only freshwater turtle with flippers, it has a protruding pig-like snout that it pokes out of the water like a snorkel.

Where to see it

Pig-nosed turtles are shy creatures, usually darting for cover as soon as a potential threat appears. However, they can sometimes be seen from the shuttle boat in Twin Falls Gorge.

Behaviour

Pig-nosed turtles come out at night during Wurrgeng (June – August) to lay their eggs in sandy creek banks. The eggs hatch in Gunumeleng (October – December), when rising waters cover the nests and help hatchlings get to the safety of deeper water.

Culture

Warradjan have been on the menu in Kakadu for a very long time. Bone fragments have been found in ancient occupation sites, and the turtle appears in numerous rock paintings across Kakadu. Bininj/Mungguy people still eat these sought-after reptiles today.

Other names

  • Scientific name: Carettachelys insculpta