Posts Tagged ‘winter turtle’

When the winter weather warms up a little and there is abundant sunlight, turtles will sometimes come up out of the mud at the bottom of the pond to bask in the sun. Last Friday I made a short visit to Green Spring Gardens, a historic county-run garden in Northern Virginia, and spotted this turtle at the edge of a small pond. I think it may be a Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans), although the turtle was so far away and covered in mud that I am not sure of the identification.

Turtles enter into a period of dormancy know as “brumation” when the weather gets cold. According to the ReptileKnowHow website, “When red-eared sliders brumate, they do not eat or defecate and they remain almost completely motionless for long periods. Their metabolic rate reduces to a minimum, reducing all vital functions – even breathing to the strictly necessary.” I don’t know all of the technical differences between hibernation and brumation, but I believe that the former term is reserved for warm-blooded creatures and the latter term for cold-blooded ones.

winter turtle

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.


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