How do female terrapins navigate to a nesting site?

The answer is “very carefully”.250px-Diamondback_Terrapin

Female terrapins need to look for a spot above the high tide line to lay a nest for their eggs (They lay on average 2 clutches of approximately a dozen eggs each summer).

The challenge is getting to a spot on the beach above the high tide line (dunes are usually the best spot) all the way from the estuaries (a.k.a. bays – spots where fresh and saltwater mix).

Terrapins lay their eggs at all times of day and night so you may see them venturing from the bay to the beach at anytime.

All too often you may see female terrapins crushed on the side of the road since a motorist was not paying attention as the female tried to make her way from the bay to the beach or back again. A good idea is to stop your car and let the terrapin continue across the road in the direction she was headed.

For more information check out the Northern Diamondback Terrapin Association.

Do you have another great question? Check out www.beachchairscientist.com and let us know what you always ponder while digging your toes in the sand!

Image (c) Wikipedia Commons.

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