Basking Cooters

Florida cooter (Pseudemys concinna floridana, Emydidae) photographed 04/08/2012 at Everglades National Park, Florida.

While walking along the Anhinga Trail at Everglades National Park there were many cooter turtles (Pseudemys sp., Emydidae) basking on the rocks along the waterways. Some were doing so in a rather amusing fashion:

Florida cooter (Pseudemys concinna floridana, Emydidae) photographed 04/08/2012 at Everglades National Park, Florida.

In these waters there were both Florida cooters (Pseudemys concinna floridana, Emydidae) as well as Florida red-bellied cooters (Pseudemys nelsoni, Emydidae). These relatively large river turtles are fond of spending most of their days soaking up the sun. They do so to regulate their temperature, and the ultraviolet rays may play a role in vitamin D synthesis and calcium metabolism.

Florida red-bellied cooters (Pseudemys nelsoni, Emydidae) photographed 04/08/2012 at Everglades National Park, Florida.

While many of these turtles are farmed for the pet trade, the individuals in this national park are protected from collection. The effort to preserve these remaining natural areas is a large part of what make national parks so alluring to me.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in National Parks, Vertebrate Zoology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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