How to Draw a Mary River Turtle

In this quick tutorial you'll learn how to draw a Mary River Turtle in 7 easy steps - great for kids and novice artists.

The images above represent how your finished drawing is going to look and the steps involved.

Below are the individual steps - you can click on each one for a High Resolution printable PDF version.

At the bottom you can read some interesting facts about the Mary River Turtle.

Make sure you also check out any of the hundreds of drawing tutorials grouped by category.

How to Draw a Mary River Turtle - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: First, draw the head. Draw a line that curves and the end and then draw a slightly curved line underneath it.

Step 2: Draw the eye and jaw. Make one circle at the point of the head and another circle where the two lines meet

Step 3: Draw the shell of the turtle by drawing a large oval and then another line around the curve

Step 4: Draw the pattern on the shell by drawing ovals in the center of the shell and squares around them. Draw little lines to make sections of the area surrounding the big oval.

Step 5: Next, draw the tail. The tail is about half as long as the body.

Step 6: Draw the back legs. Draw a thick leg with small toes at the end. Draw a line from the tail to the leg to make the other back leg

Step 7: To finish, draw the front legs. Draw a thick curving leg with toes.

Interesting Facts about Mary River Turtles

Mary River Turtles are 1 of the most endangered animals in the world. They are only found in Mary River in Queensland Australia. They are a short neck tortoise, but make up for it in their hind legs. Those strong back legs make a really good swimmer. The biggest threat to these turtles is the loss of their nests. Like all turtles, a Mary River Turtle buries its eggs in the sand. When Australia started making man-made dams the change in the water level caused a lot of trouble with this turtle’s eggs.

Did you know?

  • An adult Mary River Turtle’s shell normally reaches 50 centimeters long.
  • There are two knobby whiskers called barbels under the Mary River Turtle’s chin. This helps it rut around in the sand to find algae to eat.
  • An old-fashion name for these turtles was “The Penny Turtle” or “The Pet Shop Turtle.” As a matter of fact these turtles were such popular pets that the population suffered in the wild. Pet stores were just scooping them right off the beaches.
  • A Mary River Turtle can breathe air like a human, but it can also breathe underwater through a gill near its butt! Seriously!
  • It takes an adult male 30 years to get ready for mating and an adult female takes 25 years to get ready.

Activity: A fun twist on a traditional Easter egg hunt is to hide eggs in natural places egg laying animals leave their eggs. So good places would be up in trees, under trees, and for extra fun bury them in a sand pile.