Sunday, June 1, 2008

Turtles of the North Fork - Spiny Softshell

Common to the North Fork River, the Spiny Softshell Turtle becomes sexually mature between ages 8 and 10. A large female turtle may live up to 50-60 years. The turtles mate in mid to late spring in deep water. The male will nudge the female's head while swimming and if she chooses to mate, the male will swim above the female without clasping her with his claws(this is unlike other turtles). The turtle quickly lays her eggs along a sunny sandbar or gravel bank in a flask-shaped cavity that she has dug close to the water. The turtle nests more than once during a single season. She can lay between 9 to 38 round calcareous-shelled eggs. The eggs hatch around August and September and hatch in the spring. Sex is not determined by temperature variations in the spiny soft shell turtle.

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