Welcome to Pelomedusoides.org


We are slowly getting back online and expanding the content by building on the foundations of Pelusios.com and Pelomedusa.com.

In the last decade, interest in turtles from the families Pelomedusidae and Podocnemididae has been growing fast, especially from turtle keepers. This interest and lack of easily accessible, usable information has led us to create this website. Pelomedusoides.org is a website made to fill the gap of public knowledge on species from the hyperfamily of Pelomedusoid turtles. We will try to do this by giving as accurate and up to date information as possible concerning turtles from the genus Pelusios, its relative Pelomedusa, and their close family members from the genera Podocnemis, Peltocephalus, and Erymnochelys.

It is our goal to provide as often as possible usable line drawings pointing out the basic anatomical characters of each species, adding to the recognizability of the species. Drawings to differentiate one species from another seemingly similar species will be added when ready as well as photos showing the variation within certain species or between different sexes.

Pelomedusoides.org will try to provide both scientific information and information on the care of Pelomedusoid turtles in captivity. When we provide descriptions of turtles, take into account that the descriptions are of adult turtles, unless otherwise noted. All descriptions are given in the same way, so that comparing species is not difficult when following the given properties. Though we also provide caresheets, we strongly recommend that the caresheets are only used as basic guidelines. We encourage further study on natural behavior and habitat as this will provide better understanding for the requirements of turtles in captivity.

We both believe that if you want to know about present day turtles, you also will have to know something about their past, to better understand them. For this reason we’ll include data concerning the extinct close relatives of the Pelomedusids and Podocnemidids: the turtles belonging to the families Araripemydidae, Euraxemydidae and the extremely diverse family of the Bothremydidae. Knowledge concerning these extinct turtles has exploded the last decade as has their number of known species. It is beyond the goal of this website to go deep in this matter, but we’ll provide some basic info.

As a big “thank you” we’d like to dedicate this website to Roger Bour of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris, France and Eugene S. Gaffney from the American Museum of Natural History, in New York, USA. Both men have been very helpful to us and have been great teachers.

Ferry Grünewald and Josh Hunkele


On this website we use drawings when giving a description of a species, or when comparing one species with another. In these drawings we portray stereotypical specimens. Pelomedusoid turtles, like all other living creatures, show some variability in their appearance. This is certainly the case when these turtles are being kept as pets and live under suboptimal conditions, giving them a different appearance than specimens living in the wild.


 Last updated 14 March 2018