X-ray of western swamp turtle showing eggs
This small freshwater turtle is the most endangered Australian reptile. The flattened carapace appears square from above and varies in colour from yellow-brown to black depending on the area. The flattened head is covered by a single large bony plate, or scute. Unusually amongst turtles, the female is smaller than the male. The plastron, or undershell, of the western swamp turtle is paler than the carapace and extremely broad ; it often has a pattern of black spots on a yellow background. The short legs are covered with bony plates and the feet are clawed.