An attractive adult male of the Carolina Diamondback Terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin centrata (Testudines - Emydidae), a subspecies found from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to northern Florida, in the United States.
Diamondback terrapin laying eggs at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. The group of volunteer naturalists is relocating a nest in harm’s way, carefully marking them to reorient them properly in a new nest off the path. Then they will install an exclosure to prevent egg predation. The species is listed as Threatened in Massachusetts.
Recently, the National Aquarium’s Conservation team welcomed 51 hatchling Diamondback Terrapins from the aquarium’s site at Poplar Island.
Diamondback Terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) are native to brackish coastal swamps of the eastern and southern United States. Their range stretches from Cape Cod to as far as the Florida Keys.
After passing their Animal Health exams, these tiny turtles have remained under watchful eyes. In a few weeks, the hatchlings will be distributed to schools throughout Maryland as part of the National Aquarium’s “Terrapins in the Classroom” program!
Through this program, students and teachers are charged with caring for a little turtle all school year. They collect growth data, observe behaviors, learn animal care skills and research the natural history of the species. In late spring, the students release the terrapins back onto Poplar Island. The hatchlings are quarter-sized right now, but throughout the year they grow steadily in a warm, clean classroom tank with all the UVB and basking heat they could want…and without fear of predators!