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Bostami Turtle


Bostami Turtle (bostami kasim) a freshwater turtle, Aspideretes nigricans (=Trionyx nigricans), of the family Trionychidae, order Testudines, also known as Black Softshell Turtle, believed to be an endemic species. It is found in a pond at the shrine of Sultan al-Arefin Hazrat bayazid bostami in Chittagong town.

The population shows two colours: one with dark brownish-black carapace and the other olive-greenish; the carapace of hatchlings is predominantly light olive-green but marginally darker and having four distinct ocelli on the carapace consisting of five concentric rings.  
Bostami Turtle at the shrine of Hazrat Bayazid Bostami
   

In adults the carapace length ranges from 39-78 cm with width from 33-71 cm; total wet-body weight may be up to 54 kg; males are generally larger.

In a census made during December 1990, the population was estimated to be about 400. Early reports indicate that the species inhabited a tract intermediate between the Brahmaputra River system and the Arakan system. The nesting season extends from February to May. The mean clutch size is 20 (range 16-24). Incubation period varies from 96-106 days. A critically endangered species, protected by local people for religious reasons, and also by the country's wildlife preservation law. [M Farid Ahsan]