Diamondback Terrapin

Classification

CLASS: Reptilia
ORDER: Testudines
FAMILY: Emydidae
GENUS:Malaclemys
SPECIES:M.terrapin

habitat & Range

Diamondback terrapins are found in brackish swamps, estuaries, lagoons, mangroves, and salt marshes.

Did you know?

  • These terrapins have temperature-dependent sex determination, meaning that the temperature during incubation will determine the sex of the hatchlings. Incubation of eggs at low temperatures results in all male hatchlings while incubation at high temperatures results in all female hatchlings.
  • Diamondback terrapins lay pinkish eggs.
  • Terrapins can live to be 40 years old.
  • If you ever sea a turtle trying to cross a road and you want to help it be sure to move it towards the direction it is moving!
North American River Otter

Form & Function

The body of this terrapin is gray with dark spots. The shell is a yellowish to brown color with concentric rings. Females can reach 10 inches in length whereas males are typically smaller (up to 5.5 inches). Due to the brackish environment in which they live, these terrapins have salt glands by their eyes that allow them to remove excess salt that they pick up from their environment.

Conservation & YOu

Threatened (IUCN) The threats they face include harvest for meat and habitat loss. You can help protect diamondback terrapins by following your state’s hunting laws and regulations, as well as driving cautiously on roads near their habitat.
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