Description: A small mud turtle is 3-4 inches carapace length. The carapace (or upper shell) is olive to dark brown. Their carapaces have no patterns but are very smooth. Other turtles have 12 plates but the mud turtle only has 11. Their plastron is yellowish to brown. They skin is yellow to gray. The mud turtle’s throat is yellowish. The Mud turtle’s beak is white to yellowish and is curved a little. A mud turtles life expectancy is 15-30 years.
Diet: Mud turtles eat worms, crayfish, frogs, snails, beetles, and slugs. They also eat leeches, fairy shrimp, tadpole shrimp, and other aquatic insects and invertebrate. They eat fairy shrimp more than usual in spring.
Habitat: Mud turtles have been seen in ponds, sand bottoms, and in water with or without vegetation. Mud turtles mostly preferred ponds with vegetation.
Mating Habits: Most aquatic female turtles make a nest in the dirt by water. Then they lay their eggs and cover them up, and they never go back to their eggs. Mud turtles have a special way of being parents- they stay with their eggs for a while, a few hours up to 38 days, to keep predators away from their eggs.
How they became endangered? Many turtles have been killed on roads and their eggs are often killed by predators. Their habitat is being lost due to different types of agriculture and land development. Examples: pollution from pesticides, the draining of wetlands. Also, too many people were keeping them as pets.
What can be done to help? We should not take them from the wild, their habitat.