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Turtles of the Poconos. Common Snapping Turtle Description Huge head, powerful jaw. Tan-brown carapace with 3 rows of keels, serrated at the back. Yellow/tan.

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Presentation on theme: "Turtles of the Poconos. Common Snapping Turtle Description Huge head, powerful jaw. Tan-brown carapace with 3 rows of keels, serrated at the back. Yellow/tan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Turtles of the Poconos

2 Common Snapping Turtle

3 Description Huge head, powerful jaw. Tan-brown carapace with 3 rows of keels, serrated at the back. Yellow/tan plastron with cross shaped outline. Neck has tubercles. Dimensions : /2" W arning: Snappers have massive heads with powerful, hooked jaws. They strike viciously when lifted from water or teased and can inflict a serious bite. Breeding: April-November, peaks in June eggs laid in a flask shaped cavity. Hatch after 9-18 weeks, sometimes hatchlings stay in nest over winter. In difficult breeding conditions females can store sperm for a few years. Habitat: Freshwater, containing vegetation, lakes, ponds and streams. Discussion: Hunted for its meat which is seen as a delicacy. Aquatic, lives in shallow water hidden under mud. Hides under an overhanging mudbank or vegetation in winter. Plants, carrion, fish and birds contribute to its diet. Able swimmer, captured individuals placed up to two miles from home have returned within hours.

4 Spotted Turtle

5 Description: Gray to black. Carapace is smooth, does not have a central ridge running down the keel. It is also totally black and contains anywhere from zero to about one hundred yellow spots, which are a defining characteristic of this turtle. Although perhaps inconsequential, it has been found that the left side of the upper shell has more spots than the right. Spots can always be found on the head, neck, and limbs. Darken with age. Brown eyes on males. Dimensions: " Breeding: March-May. Nests in June. Flask shaped cavity dug in a sunny areas. Normally 3-5, sometimes up to 8 eggs, laid. 1 1/4" long. Hatch August/September. Stay in nest until spring. Habitat: Flooded forests, marshes, wet meadows, bogs and woodland streams Discussion: Bask in spring. Often hidden in summer under vegetation. Hides in muskrat burrows, debris and mud underwater over winter

6 Wood Turtle

7 Description: Carapace that is tan, grayish brown or brown color, with a central ridge/keel made up of a pyramidal pattern of ridges and grooves. The wood turtle's plastron (ventral shell) is yellowish in color and has dark patches. Orange legs & neck. Dimensions: cm. (5-9") Breeding: Eggs elliptical, 1 5/8"long. 6-8 in a clutch. Nests May-June. Hatch September/October. Sometimes overwinter in nest. Habitat: Woodland streams, swamps and marshy meadows. Discussion: Good climber, sometimes spotted climbing 6' chain link fences. Diet includes worms, which it searches for after rainfall. Slugs, insects and tadpoles also included in diet. Once thought to be food, populations have severely decreased. Can live up to 58 years in captivity

8 Eastern Box Turtle

9 Description: Hinge on plastron allows for shell to close tightly. Domed carapace. Orange, brown, tan olive with varying patterns. Males have red eyes, females normally brown. Dimensions : 4-8 1/2" Breeding: May-July. 3-8 eggs in a clutch. Eggs are elliptical, with thin shells. Flask shaped cavity dug, 3-4" deep. Females sometimes store sperm for several years after mating. Sexually mature at 5-7 years. Habitat: Meadows, pastures and moist forests. Discussion: Terrestrial. In summer reside in swamps and marshes. Slugs, worms, strawberries and poisonous mushrooms comprise main diet. Men who have eaten their flesh have died due to the mushrooms being poisonous to humans. Shells formerly used for ceremonial rattles by New York Indians, where their populations were almost wiped out. Some documented to have lived over 100 years. Fathers & sons would carve their names into the shells creating a 'living record'. Will often spend its life in one area, normally no bigger than a football field.

10 Eastern Painted Turtle

11 Description: Long, oval, smooth, and flat-bottomed carapace. Olive to black, allowing the turtle to blend in with its surroundings. Plastron is yellow, sometimes red, sometimes with dark markings in the center. Similar to the top shell, the turtle's skin is olive to black, but with red and yellow stripes on its neck, legs, and tail. Dimensions : 4-9 7/8" Breeding: May-July. Digs a nest cavity 4" deep. 1-2 clutches per year in north eggs per clutch. Eggs 1.25“ long. Hatch after weeks. Mature at 2-5 years. Habitat: Slow-moving muddy soft bottomed streams, rivers & lakes. Discussion: Basks in groups with other turtles, often on the same log. Herbivorous as adults, carnivorous as young.

12 Other “Peripheral” Species Musk Turtle or Stink Pot Bog Turtle Map Turtle


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