My question for today: What kind Turtle am I?
Turtles, aquatic plants, and aquatic plant management are intimately associated. Turtles eat aquatic plants, sleep among plants, and hide among plants. Some turtles even mimic aquatic plants. The spotted shells of the Blanding’s turtle and the spotted turtle imitate duckweed, concealing them from predators, and also concealing them from prey: dragonflies land on the “duckweed” and are eaten by the lucky turtles.
Turtles can make lake revegetation efforts very difficult: turtles may devour transplanted plants as fast as the plants can grow. Turtles are sometimes in peril in plant management operations, such as when aquatic plant harvesting machines also harvest turtles. In one site during a three-month period, plant harvesting machines also removed and killed about 700 snapping and painted turtles. In another study, the threatened bog turtle was reduced by an invasion of the non-native plant, Pharlaris arundinacea. Other, more natural, perils also exist. For example, redbelly turtles sometimes lay their eggs in alligator nests (made of plant material), as described on our alligators page, and sometimes the redbellies are eaten for doing so…
Many turtles prefer to live amongst certain aquatic plants. Many turtles are omnivores and eat aquatic plants along with aquatic animals. Some turtles are vegetarians and eat only aquatic plants. In one habitat created to help the endangered bog turtle, researchers planted the following plants: Carex stricta, Sagittaria latifolia, Onoclea sensibilis, Juncus effusus, and Scirpus cyperinus.
Maybe it is Snapping turtle, maybe not? Question stays.