Slow Down: Looking for Turtles in the Everglades
Throughout your tour of the Glades, you will with no doubt, catch a glimpse of these little shelled creatures falling into the water or lounging in the sun, on logs and the swamp banks.
The Everglades boasts an incredible amount of wildlife both in and out of the water.
Numerous species of turtles populate the waters of the Everglades, including the Florida Softshell, Florida Snapping Turtle, Florida Chicken Turtle, Atlantic Leatherback and hawksbill, Striped Mud Turtle, Peninsula Cooter and the Lowly Stinkpot.
The Striped Mud Turtle is probably the most common and can be found all over the Glades, associated with them are the Florida Mud Turtle that live in freshwater. These turtles are rather small with a radius of only 3 to 4 inches. They have no pattern and vary in color from yellow to black and have webbed feet they use during their time in the water.
The Florida Red-belly Cooter is another common turtle you will see lounging on logs in the sun. They live primarily anywhere in freshwater areas, but can also survive in brackish water. The red-belly has been known to lay their eggs in alligator mounds, as they are generally safe and dry areas. If you get the chance to see their bellies you will see the reddish color that gives them their name.
The Stinkpot gets it’s name from the particular skunk-like scent it gives out when agitated or threatened. They live most of their lives in the water, even sunning themselves in shallow waters or floating amongst vegetation. Full grown, the stink pot will only be 3-5 inches, though remarkably this species can live up to 50 years.
We will be sure to point out any turtles we may spot during our tour, be on alert! These creatures are easily spooked and will swim away in the blink of an eye if you aren’t paying attention. We hope that you will enjoy your fascinating tour into the Everglades with us and enjoy our world of reptiles!