Many turtles live in the creek by which we like to take our ‘daily constitutional’–they’ll come up for bits of bread thrown for the ducks and lettuce thrown for the nutria (but more about those creatures in another post). Young turtles eat a lot of meat, but the older a turtle gets, the more vegetarian it becomes. Also, the older a turtle gets, the bigger it gets, and after a certain point it doesn’t really have any natural enemies (unless you count humans, who often remove turtles from the wild to become pets). Before they get too big to swallow, however, the herons, who seem to have snake-like throats, will eat small turtles. There are many ducks on this creek, and the ducks and turtles pretty much leave each other alone, except when the ducks have their babies–yes, it’s sad but true, turtles really go for a mouthful of baby bird. They also look out for a sunny, quiet day and a surface, preferably surrounded by water for safety’s sake, where they can climb out of the water and just bask for awhile. If you stop and stare, they’ll slide off the log, or rock–plip! plop–in the blink of an eye, hence the name Slider for some species (the Red-eared Slider is common here). I’ve never seen turtles fight with each other, the way ducks do, and they seem to share their logs in a quite neighborly fashion.
(In case you were wondering, credit for this picture and those below goes to Draconis.)