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|Species: Clemmys guttata|
Spotted turtles are small and can grow to be around 3-5 inches in length. They have smooth shells that are black and covered in tiny yellow spots. The yellow spots continue on to cover their head, neck, legs, and tail. On each side of the head, they have a large orange blotch.
Habitat & Range
Spotted turtles live in wet woods, marshes, muddy streams throughout the east coast of United States and near the Great Lakes region.
Spotted turtles are inactive during freezing temperatures in winter and extremely hot temperatures in the summer. During these dormant times, they burrow into leaf litter or muddy wetland bottoms and slow down their metabolism to survive long periods without food and very little oxygen. In favorable conditions, they are active hunters and search for worms, crustaceans, insects, amphibian eggs, and aquatic plants. They hunt and eat exclusively in the water.
Spotted turtles breed during the spring, with females laying around 3-7 eggs in a dug-up nest that is exposed to the sun. After the young turtles hatch, they are independent immediately and mature after 7 to 15 years of age.
Featured image by John Mosesso