Habitat & Range
Diamondback terrapins can be found along the Atlantic coast of the United States. They can survive in both freshwater and saltwater environments, but prefer intermediate salinities. They typically inhabit brackish channels, lagoons, tidal flats, estuarine areas and coastlines.
Diamondback terrapins are named for the diamond-like pattern on top of their shell. Shell color varies between shades of brown and gray, and body color can be gray, brown, yellow or white with black markings. The shell is usually wider at the back than the front. Females are slightly larger than males, measuring 7.5 inches long and weighing just over a pound.
The diamondback terrapin has a strong jaw capable of crushing the shell of its prey. It feeds on small marine animals such as shrimp, clams, crabs, mussels and various invertebrates.
Reproduction & Lifespan
Diamondback terrapins mate in early spring and lay clutches of 4 to 22 eggs in early summer. Depending on temperature and depth of the nest, eggs typically hatch in 60 to 85 days. Females are capable of laying up to 5 clutches per year.
The lifespan of a diamondback terrapin ranges from 25 to 40 years.
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