Behavior

In seasonal environments (high latitude or deserts), these turtles have short annual activity periods (three months or less in some cases) and spend the rest of the year hibernating or estivating underground. In wetter, more tropical habitats, they are active year-round. Most are highly aquatic, rarely leaving the water except to nest, although a few species may spend considerable time foraging terrestrially (especially during the wet seasons). Some species are active primarily

Striped mud turtles (Kinosternon baurii) range from the Florida Keys up the Atlantic coast into Virginia. (Photo by Joe McDonald. Bruce Coleman, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

during the day, others primarily at night, and still others may be found active at any time.

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