Belle Isle Nature Center is open for outdoor only pre-registered activities and programming. Plan Your Visit


Soft-shell Turtle - Belle Isle Nature Zoo

Spiny softshelled turtle

Apalone spinifera

Their shells are olive-green, rounded, flat, soft and pancake looking. Male turtles’ shells have small spots and circles called ocelli, and they feel almost like sand paper. Female turtles are larger than males, have a blotchy camouflage pattern and small spines along the front edges of their shells. The most obvious characteristics are the turtles’ pig-like snouts.