In Early May, American Snapping Turtles begin to rise from the depths of the ponds where they have been wintering. Called estivating, these turtles will spend the entire winter submerged in the mud in the bottom of ponds and streams. Then, seeing the light and feeling the warmth of the early spring sun, they crawl up from the depths to warm themselves while still locked beneath the ice. In June, the fresh-water omnivores emerge out onto dry ground to lay their eggs. Crossing roads is a particular hazard; they are relatively slow-moving, and are often victims of automobiles. After the hard work of digging nest holes and laying their eggs they return to the ponds to rest. The young turtles hatch in 80 to 90 days and will make their way to the nearest waterway. These large turtles can live up to 40 years, provided they are allowed to cross the roadways in peace.
Music: “Green Leaves” by Jason Shaw
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