The Cogwheel Turtle is a moderately sized turtle that is sometimes known as the Southeast Asian Spiny Turtle or the Spiny Hill Turtle. They do well in outdoor enclosures in moderate climates.
Found primarily in Asia, the Cogwheel Turtle makes its home in or near streams in rainforests. The streams are usually shallow and clear. They spend a lot of time wandering on land near their streams, primarily in humid, cool, shaded spots. They are shy and spend a lot of time hiding in grass or under debris. The young turtles spend more time on land than the adults, who are more comfortable in water. They are omnivores, but feed primarily on plant matter. They are nocturnal, meaning they are active during the nighttime.
The Cogwheel Turtle is easy to recognize due to its distinctive shell, which is marked by spines on the keel and pleural scutes. The Cogwheel Turtle grows between 7 and 8.5 inches (18 and 22 cm) in length, and weighs between 3.3 and 4.5 pounds (1.5 and 2.0 kg) at maturity. They are named for their spikes, or spines though adult Cogwheel Turtles may loose their spines when they reach maturity. Young Cogwheel Turtles have been said to resemble pincushions because their spikes are so sharp. As they mature these will wear down and are not nearly as obvious as those of the young. Some adults may not have visible spikes, particularly those on the side. They can be difficult to sex. Males usually have longer, broader tails than the females. Males also have a concave plastron.
Cogwheel Turtles can be found from Burma, extending down into Thailand, the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo.