This Nile Turtle arrived for breakfast every morning at the Longhouse Inn Hotel by the riverside in Dalyan. It was fed on any leftover eggs (scrambled and boiled). Some establishments on the riverside lure the species with chicken skin in order to attract more customers, a practice which is in fact harmful to this secretive turtle which is unable to digest this food alien to its natural diet. I would imagine eggs aren't great for it to be eating every day either.
The Nile Turtle or African Soft-shelled Turtle is a big river turtle seen in the Dalyan waterways. It owes its Latin name Trionyx triunguis to the three claws on its front flippers. It is a soft-shelled river turtle, which can reach a shell size of 70cm and a total length of about 1 metre. Trionyx Triunguis is a species that thrives in relatively warm environments such as the dead river arm nearby the Rıza Çavuş mud baths, which is fed by a sulphurous hot water spring.
Nile Turtle population in Dalyan is at risk because of regular disturbance by boat traffic which affects reproduction. Nile Turtles are mainly carnivorous and eat a range of food from fish, snails and some aquatic insects, crustaceans, amphibians and reptiles. If you believe in sustainability, I've learned - and it's obvious really - that the feeding of Nile Turtles at riverside establishments and during Turtle Tours is not in the best interest of this species.
Though primarily a river turtle, it can occur in brackish water and is even seen at sea. The Nile Turtle has a capacity for aquatic "breathing". Under water this turtle can absorb 70% of its oxygen requirements through its skin. Thus it can spend long periods under water without having to surface to breathe. When it surfaces, the first thing one sees is its snout which is elongated into a pair of snorkel-like tubes. These enable the turtle to breathe without having to expose too much of itself. Though a secretive species, it can sometimes be caught basking in the sun on the shore.