The smooth, oval carapace is blackish or dark brown, and the plastron is pale yellowish brown to off white. In adults the carapace is flatter and smooth-edged, but in juveniles is more domed and serrated posteriorly. The webbed feet are large and paddle-like, and the claws long and thick.
It is semi-aquatic, inhabits large lakes, swamps and slow flowing rivers. Forest, Wetlands (inland) Orlitia borneensis inhabits freshwater swamps, lakes and river systems. The diet in the wild is unknown, but captives are omnivorous. Little information is available about the species life history. Eggs are elongated with brittle hard shells, and measure 80 x 40 mm. Hatchlings are 60 mm, with rough shell texture and markedly serrated marginals at the carapace posterior (Das 2010). Generation length is estimated at 25–30 years.
Omnivorous, probably feeding on fallen fruits and other plant matter, as well as fish and other available vertebrates.
Orlitia boneensis is listed in CITES Appendix II. It is fully protected under Government Regulation of the Republic of Indonesia No. 7 in 1999. It is protected in Sarawak on the island of Borneo under the Fauna Conservation Ordinance of 1963, but is not protected in all Malaysian states. It occurs in protected areas. Further research into biology, ecology and population status are urgently needed.
CLASS : Reptilia
ORDER : Testudines
FAMILY : Geoemydidae
GENUS : Orlitia
SPECIES : Malaysian Giant Turtle (Orlitia borneensis)
Conservation status : Critically Endangered
Lay a clutch of eggs once or twice a year. Eggs are brittle and ellipsoidal, about 80 x 40 mm.