Friday, June 28, 2013
Painted Turtle Lays Eggs
So in front of many onlookers, photographers, and my camera, she ignored us and patiently dug a hole as far as her legs would reach into the ground.
Her right hind leg is a blur in this picture as she flings dirt up out of the hole.
She carefully places the dirt removed in a small pile behind the hole. It took her about 45 minutes to dig the hole.
She immediately began to lay eggs once she was done digging. In this picture her second egg can be seen emerging from her cloacal opening under her tail.
After finishing egg laying the female turtle immediately filled the hole in with dirt using her hind legs again. In between each foot full of dirt she would press her bottom shell onto the fresh dirt to pack it down. In 20 minutes she completed moving all the dirt and the nest site was as smooth as the dirt near by.
It will take 60 to 90 days for the eggs to hatch. The female will not return, but instead let the sun incubate the eggs.