Yellow mud turtle
|Yellow mud turtle|
- Mexico: Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas.
- United States: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
The yellow mud turtle is a small, olive-colored turtle. Its name comes from the yellow colored areas on its throat, head and on the sides on its neck. The bottom shell is yellow to brown with two hinges, allowing the turtle to close each end separately. The male's tail has a blunt spine on the end, but the female's tail does not.
The yellow mud turtle has a lifespan of 15 years.
Yellow mud turtles are omnivorous. Their diet includes worms, crayfish, frogs, snails, fish, fairy shrimp, slugs, leeches, tadpoles, and other aquatic insects and invertebrates. They also eat vegetation and dead and decaying matter.
Yellow mud turtles forage on land and water for food. In early spring their main diet is fairy shrimp they find in the shallow of their ponds. While they are burrowing, they will any earthworms or grubs that they might encounter. Studies show while these turtles are hibernating, that they will eat earthworms that pass in front of them. Although they do not actively tunnel in search for food, they are alert to take it when available.They also eat fish and other aquatic sea animals according to wiki.
Most female aquatic turtles excavate a nest in the soil near a water source, deposit their eggs and leave, but yellow mud turtles exhibit a pattern of parental care. They are the only turtle that has been observed that stays with the eggs for any period of time. The female lays a clutch of 1-9 eggs and stays with the eggs for a period of time of a few hours up to 38 days. It is believed that the female stays to keep the predators away from the eggs. It was also observed that the females would urinate on their nests in dry years. This is believed to aid in the hatch success rate of the eggs in dry years.
It is believed that in their natural habitat that spring rains induce the turtles to begin nesting. The eggs hatch in the fall and some hatchlings leave the nest and spend the winter in aquatic habitats, but most of the hatchlings burrow below the nest and wait until spring to emerge and then move to the water. This is believed to aid in survival rates of the hatchlings, because some water bodies freeze solid during the winter. Another benefit of waiting to emerge in the spring is that hatchlings enter an environment of increasing resources, such as heat, light, and food.
- Fritz Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World". Vertebrate Zoology 57 (2): 252. ISSN 18640-5755. Archived from the original on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- O'Shea, Mark; Tim Halliday (2010). Reptiles and amphibians. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 46. ISBN 978-1-4053-5793-7.
- Agassiz, 1857 : Contributions to the Natural History of the United States of America. Little, Brown & Co., Boston, vol. 1, p. 1-452.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kinosternon flavescens.|
Data related to Kinosternon flavescens at Wikispecies