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Wild Wednesday: Spiny Softshell Turtle

The spiny softshell turtle is an aquatic turtle and one of the largest turtles in Michigan. Unlike most turtles, their shell isn’t hard but is instead soft, flat, and rubbery and the edges of the shell have small spines which give the turtle its name. Their shell is an olive brown color. These turtles are excellent swimmers and have a long nose to stick up from the water to breathe. They prefer shallow waters with muddy or sandy bottoms in which they can bury themselves to hide from predators and prey. They will eat crayfish, small fish, and insects. These turtles breed in May and the females lay their eggs on sandbars or in loose soil near water. The eggs will hatch in late summer. These turtles can be defensive and have a strong bite, so if you come across them while on a walk its best to admire them from a distance!

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