November 23, 2017

Ask the Aquarium

A. Your good description fits a diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin), a skittish, semiaquatic turtle found in brackish backwater marshes.

You were lucky to get a close-up look at this secretive reptile. Although known to sometimes bask on exposed mudflats, terrapins are extremely elusive and will head for the water at the slightest disturbance.

Diamondbacks live in our sounds and estuaries and were once so abundant they were considered a nuisance. By 1920, harvesting of their succulent meat gave rise to breeding farms, with the turtles selling for as much as $90 a dozen. After World War I, the market declined because of

Source: http://www.starnewsonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013131229846