The Florida softshell turtle is a large turtle with a flattened, pancake-like body, a long neck, an elongated head with a long snorkel-like nose, and large webbed feet, each with three claws. While most turtles have hard shells composed of scutes, the Florida softshell has a cartilaginous carapace covered in leathery skin. Ranging from olive green to dark brown, it has the darkest coloration of all the softshell species that inhabit Florida (other species include Apalone mutica calvata and Apalone spinifera aspera). It is also characterized by a white or cream-colored underside. This color pattern is known as countershading and is a form of camouflage to conceal turtles from potential predators. It is also the largest species of softshell turtle found in Florida and all of North America, ranging from 15 to 76 cm (5.9 to 29.9 in) in length. The Florida softshell also exhibits significant sexual size dimorphism. Adult females are often 3-5x larger than males. Males have a carapace length and body weight averaging about 35 cm (14 in) and 2.68 kg (5.9 lb) respectively. Nesting adult females were found to average 6.65 kg (14.7 lb) in weight and measure 40.1 cm (15.8 in) in carapace length, with the record weight documented at 43.6 kg (96 lb). However, males tend to have longer tails than their female counterparts (3 cm longer than a female of the same size). Hatchlings have a lighter carapace with yellow and orange markings and a carapacial rim. Stripes in the same color are also found on the face and neck. Their plastron is generally dark in color. As the turtle ages, these colors fade and are lost, resulting in the dark-brown coloration characteristic of adults.