By Abby Patrick 8A
Diamondback Turtles are found mostly in Brackish water of salt marshes, estuaries and tidal creeks in the north of America. The environment of which these turtles live in compliments their lifestyle, as when they go into hybernation
Diamondback Turtles are internally fertilized, in order to reproduce Diamondbacks need to mate with another of their species; so these reptiles are sexual reproducers. Female Diamondbacks can mate with many male Diamondbacks and can carry sperm for years, thus having some clutches of eggs with different fathers. Females can produce up to 3 clutches of eggs in the wild and 5 in captivity.
The development of Diamondback Turtles is oviparity, which means they develop outside of the mother. After reproducing the mother lays clutches of eggs in places such as sand dunes or buries them in mud to protect them from harm. The mothers lay their eggs close to the water to give the hatchlings more of a chance to get the water safely. The length of gestation for Diamondback turtles is about 60-85 days for the eggs to hatch.
After laying the eggs, the mother leaves the eggs and never returns. The hatchlings have to find their way to the water, what to eat without the help of their mother, they become immediately independent. The mortality rate is quite high for a large number of hatchlings are attacked and killed by raccoons, crows, rats and birds. The advantages of this strategy of no parental care could be the fact that the hatchlings become independent and don't have to worry about becoming lost without their mother to guide them, because they know no different; though there is a disadvantage to this strategy because if the mother of the hatchlings may have been there to help them to the water, animals wouldn't attack them therefore having a lower mortality rate.
- You can tell the age of a turtle by the amount of rings on their shells.
- The oldest known fossil of a turtle dates back to almost 220 million years ago.
- They can breathe without a diaphragm.