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Turtles in Alabama

Turtles in Alabama

There are 31 turtles in Alabama comprising of all three types. Freshwater turtles, land turtles, and even sea turtles.

The vast variety include species like pond sliders, softshell turtles, sea turtles a box turtle, and more.

Check out the list below for highlights of each species.

1. Alabama Red-bellied Turtle

Alabama red-bellied cooter (Pseudemys ouachitensis)
Alabama red-bellied cooter (Pseudemys ouachitensis)
  • Experience level: Intermediate
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudemys alabamensis
  • Common Name:  Alabama red-bellied turtle, cooter, red-belly, slider
  • Average Adult Size: 12- 15 inches
  • Life Span: 40 – 55 years
  • Average Price Range: Approximately $50
  • Conservation Status: Endangered

These pond turtles are the official state reptile of Alabama. They are native to the state. Their shells vary in colour from greens to darker browns, with red and yellow markings along the side.

Their bodies have yellow stripes along olive skin. They further feature stripes along their face. As they age, the patterns and markings on their bodies fade. The females tend to be bigger than the males.

The Alabama red-bellied turtles are typically wary, and like to bask on logs in the sun. They will retreat back into the water if they are disturbed or feel threatened. Their diets consist of aquatic plants as they are herbivores.

They will mainly be found in shallow, highly vegetated waters such as rivers and ponds.

2. Pond Sliders

Group of red ear slider turtles stacking on rocks
Group of red ear slider turtles stacking on rocks
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Scientific Name: Trachemys scripta
  • Common Name: Pond slider
  • Average Adult Size: 5 – 11 inches
  • Life Span: 30 years
  • Average Price Range: approximately $20
  • Conservation Status: Least concern

There are three subspecies of Pond Sliders. In all three subspecies, males are smaller than females and have thicker tails.

Subspecies include the red ear slider, yellow belly slider and cumberland slider. Juveniles have green shells and their skin is a yellow-green and dark green colour.

Their colour fades as they age and males appear to become closer to black. Their head, neck and legs have yellow markings and stripes along it.

They prefer to be found in slow-moving waters such as ponds, lakes, rivers and swamps. Their habitats have muddy, soft bottoms. They are omnivorous but predominantly eat vegetation as adults, whereas the young prefer to eat meat.

3. Painted Turtle

Southern Painted Turtle
Southern Painted Turtle
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Scientific Name: Chrysemys picta picta
  • Common Name: Painted Turtle
  • Average Adult Size: 4 – 12 inches
  • Life Span: 50 years
  • Average Price Range: Approximately $80 – $200
  • Conservation Status: least concern

These smaller turtles have the appearance that their shells have been painted. They have stripes across their bodies and shell. Their heads are marked with yellow markings, their necks, legs and tail have red and yellow stripes across them.

The Southern Painted Turtle is the smallest subspecies within the species. Painted Turtles are found in freshwater with soft, muddy bottoms with lots of vegetation.

They prefer shallow and slow moving waters. They will leave the water to bask on logs and rocks. They have a social and docile temperament.

4. River Cooter

River Cooter (Pseudemys concinna)
River Cooter (Pseudemys concinna)
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudemys concinna
  • Common Name: River Cooter
  • Average Adult Size: 9 – 16 inches
  • Life Span: 40 + years
  • Average Price Range: Approximately $40
  • Conservation Status: Least concern

The River Cooter prefers to be solitary and can often be seen basking alone in the sun. However they have been noted to be basking with Red-eared Sliders and Painted Turtles.

They are fast both in water and on land. They can be found in fresh water bodies such as lakes, rivers and ponds. They can also be found in brackish water.

Their shells are dark green to brown and the bottom of their shells are yellow to reddish, orange. Females are larger than the males.

5. Florida Cooter

Florida Cooter (Pseudemys floridana)
Florida Cooter (Pseudemys floridana)
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudemys floridana
  • Common Name: Florida Cooter
  • Average Adult Size: 9 – 13 inches
  • Life Span: 40 + years
  • Average Price Range: Approximately $40
  • Conservation Status: Least concern

Florida Cooter’s can be nervous turtles who are best to be observed and not approached suddenly or handled, especially in the wild. They will retreat into the water if they are approached or feel intimidated.

They are medium sized turtles that socialise with other species of turtles. They are known to bask in the sun on top of one another to maximise the amount of sun they can get.

They mainly eat aquatic vegetation and are herbivorous.

6. Alabama Map Turtle

Alabama Map Turtle (Graptemys pulchra) in water looking at camera
Alabama Map Turtle (Graptemys pulchra) in water looking at camera
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Scientific Name: Graptemys pulchra
  • Common Name: Sawback, Alabama Map Turtle
  • Average Adult Size: 3.5 – 11 inches
  • Life Span: 50 + years
  • Average Price Range: Approximately $50-150
  • Conservation Status: Near threatened

The Alabama Map Turtle is predominantly brown, with coloured markings of yellows, greens and oranges. Younger Alabama Map Turtles have a pronounced black keel that fades over time.

They predominantly eat aquatic animals, insects and snails. However, juveniles mainly survive on aquatic plants such as duckweed. Their diets are omnivorous overall.

They can be found in streams and rivers, or any body of water with a muddy bottom. Males typically bask outside of water, whereas females prefer to spend their time within the water.

7. Barbours Map Turtle

Barbour's Map Turtle
Barbour’s Map Turtles stacking on each other
  • Experience level: Intermediate – expert
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Scientific Name: Graptemys pseudogeographica kohni
  • Common Name:  Barbour’s Sawback Turtle, Barbour Map Turtle
  • Average Adult Size: 5 – 12 inches
  • Life Span: 15 – 20 years
  • Average Price Range: Approximately $150
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable

The Barbour Map Turtle lives a shorter life compared to other species, and may make a harder pet to keep. The females typically get to almost twice as big as males. They have a similar temperament to other Map Turtles.

Their shell is an olive-green with yellowish markings. They are nervous animals and should not be handled or approached if seen in the wild. If they are startled, they will quickly burrow into the mud or to the bottom of the water body they are in.

8. Black-knobbed Sawback (Map Turtle)

Black knobbed map turtle
Black knobbed map turtle
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Scientific Name: Graptemys nigrinoda ssp.
  • Common Name:  Black-knobbed Sawback
  • Average Adult Size: 3 – 8 inches
  • Life Span: 20 – 30 years
  • Average Price Range:  Approximately $200
  • Conservation Status: Near threatened

These smaller turtles have a dark olive shell with circular markings. Their skin is black, and features yellow stripes, with hints of red undermarkings. They have black knobs on their shell.

Their diets predominantly feature insects and crustaceans. They live in freshwater with muddy bottoms. They like to nest on beaches.

In captivity Black knobbed map turtles have been observed to live on average about 13 years but have been known to live up to 30 years in the wild. They have a nervous temperament and should be approached carefully, if at all.

 9. Northern Map Turtle

common map turtle on white background
common map turtle on white background
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Scientific Name: Graptemys geographica
  • Common Name: Map Turtle, Northern Map Turtle
  • Average Adult Size: 3 – 11 inches
  • Life Span: 15 – 20 years
  • Average Price Range: Approximately $35 – $50
  • Conservation Status: Least concern

The Northern Map Turtle is commonly found in water bodies such as rivers, streams or lakes and will leave the water to bask on nearby logs. They prefer habitats with an abundance of vegetation.

They are primarily carnivorous but do eat vegetation as well. Their diets consist of crayfish, snails and other aquatic animals and insects as well as vegetation that is available to them.

The patterns and markings on their shell resemble the appearance of a map. Their shells are gray to olive in colour and have yellow to orange lines on it that fade as they age.

10. Ouachita Map Turtle

Ouachita Map Turtle
Ouachita Map Turtle
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Scientific Name: Graptemys ouachitensis ouachitensis
  • Common Name: Map Turtle, Ouachita Map Turtle
  • Average Adult Size: 30 – 50 years
  • Life Span: 30 – 50 years
  • Average Price Range: approximately $90
  • Conservation Status: least concern

The Ouachita Map Turtle are a common pet to keep as they are hardy and easy to care for. They are commonly found in slow moving waters such as rivers, lakes or reservoirs.

They typically feed on crayfish, snails, dead fish or other aquatic animals. They are distinguished from other map turtles as they have keels on their shell and have yellowish stripes across their body.

Their body is a grayish brown to olive colour and they have yellow stripes behind each of their eyes.

11. Escambia Map Turtle

Escambia map turtle (Graptemys ernsti)
Escambia map turtle (Graptemys ernsti)
  • Experience level: Intermediate
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Scientific Name: Graptemys ernsti
  • Common Name: Map Turtle
  • Average Adult Size: 5 – 11 inches
  • Life Span: 20 – 30 years
  • Average Price Range: Approximately $30
  • Conservation Status: Near Threatened

The male and female Escambia Map Turtle differ greatly in appearance. Females are larger than males and have disproportionate heads in comparison to their bodies, as well as have larger knobs on their shells.

Their shells are gray to olive in colour, and are pale yellow below. They are typically found in medium to large sized bodies of water such as lakes and rivers. They prefer areas where the water has a good flow.

They are olive green, yellow or tan in colour. Usually they are some variation of these colours.

12. Striped Mud Turtle

Striped Mud Turtle
Striped Mud Turtle
  • Experience level: Intermediate
  • Family: Kinosternidae
  • Scientific Name: Kinosternon baurii
  • Common Name: Mud Turtle, Striped Mud Turtle
  • Average Adult Size: 3 – 4 inches
  • Life Span: 50 years
  • Average Price Range: Approximately $20 – $60
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern

Striped Mud Turtles are a little species with a lot of attitude. If approached or if they feel threatened they will bite the handler, and it is best to not approach them in the wild or regularly handle them in captivity.

They can be found in ponds, lakes or any slow or still moving water. They are semi-aquatic, and tend to be on land more than any other mud turtle.

Their diets are omnivorous and similar to Eastern Mud Turtles. They’ll primarily feed on aquatic insects and small fish.

13. Eastern Mud Turtle

Eastern Mud Turtle
Eastern Mud Turtle
  • Experience level: Intermediate
  • Family: Kinosternidae
  • Scientific Name: Kinosternon subrubrum
  • Common Name: Mud Turtle, Eastern Mud Turtle
  • Average Adult Size: 3 -5 inches
  • Life Span: 50 years
  • Average Price Range: approximately $65 – $100
  • Conservation Status: least concern

This smaller turtle has a smooth, unmarked shell. The bottom shell is doubled-hinged. The colour ranges from olive to dark.

Eastern Mud Turtles are omnivorous and feed on small aquatic insects, crayfish, snails and vegetation. They are aquatic but are not the best swimmers and can generally be found walking at the bottom of their enclosure or waterbeds.

Their appearance to snapping turtles. The Eastern Mud Turtle has a larger shell with the double-hinged shell.

14. Loggerhead Musk Turtle

Loggerhead Musk Turtle
Loggerhead Musk Turtle
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Family: Kinosternidae
  • Scientific Name: Sternotherus minor
  • Common Name: Stripe head / loggerhead turtle
  • Average Adult Size: 7.5 – 11.5 inches
  • Life Span: 20 years
  • Average Price Range: Approximately $35
  • Conservation Status: Critically endangered

The Loggerhead Musk Turtle has a larger head and this is what led to their name. They feature yellow, brown, pale pink or white stripes along their face and neck. They typically have 3 keels on their shells.

They spend the majority of their lives at the bottom of rivers or water bodies searching for mates or prey. Their diet consists of insects, snails and small fish.

When they are approached by predators they release a foul smelling musk. Their predators are alligators, racoons, humans, and snapping turtles among others.

15. Flattened Musk Turtle

Flattened Musk Turtle
Flattened Musk Turtle
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Family: Kinosternidae
  • Scientific Name: Sternotherus depressus
  • Common Name: Musk Turtle
  • Average Adult Size: 4 – 5 inches
  • Life Span: 30 – 50 years
  • Average Price Range: Approximately $60 – $100
  • Conservation Status: Critically endangered

This species of turtles is believed to have evolved 15 million years before dinosaurs went extinct. They do not get very big, and it can take male turtles up to 60 years to reach 12 cms/4.7 inches.

The Flattened Musk Turtle is a protected species as 90% of their habitat has been destroyed. They can be found in freshwater such as rivers and lakes. Their diets are primarily small insects, aquatic animals and snails.

Their shell is flat and they range from dark brown to orange in colour. They have narrow yellow stripes on their faces, and bodies. They often have spots on their noses as well.

16. Razor-backed Musk Turtle

Razorback musk turtle sitting on desk
Razorback musk turtle sitting on desk
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Family: Kinosternidae
  • Scientific Name: Razor-backed Musk Turtle
  • Common Name: Musk Turtle, Stinkpot
  • Average Adult Size: 6 inches
  • Life Span: 25 years +
  • Average Price Range: approximately $60 – $160
  • Conservation Status: least concern

The Razor-backed Musk Turtle has keels on its shell, and is yellowish in colour. Their bodies are gray, brown or pinkish with dark spots. The shell has a strong slope on it. They are the biggest subspecies in the musk species.

They are entirely aquatic and leave the water only to bask in the sun. They are known to walk at the bottom of water beds or their enclosures.

They have large heads, and long necks that begin out as tan or cream colours, and have dark spots on it. As they age they begin to turn gray and have dark spots on their heads.

17. Common Snapping Turtle

Chelydra serpentina (Common Snapping Turtle)
Chelydra serpentina (Common Snapping Turtle)
  • Experience level: Expert
  • Family: Chelydridae
  • Scientific Name: Chelydra serpentina serpentina
  • Common Name:  Snapping Turtle
  • Average Adult Size:  12-15 inches, rarely they can reach up to 19 inches
  • Life Span: 30 – 50 years
  • Average Price Range: Approximately $25-60
  • Conservation Status: Least concern

The Common snapping turtle is one of the most common turtle species, and has a difficult temperament. Their strong jaws give them the ability to break bones, and they have the flexibility in their necks to catch predators or someone handling them by surprise.

Their diets are predominantly omnivorous, and will hunt by sitting at the bottom of a water bed with their mouths open and wait for fish to swim into their mouths.

Their limbs are longer than other turtle species, and their shells vary in colour from brown to black, and their skin is also darker in colour.

18. Alligator Snapping Turtle

Alligator Snapping Turtle Head
Alligator Snapping Turtle Head
  • Experience level: Expert
  • Family: Chelydridae
  • Scientific Name: Macroclemys temminckii
  • Common Name:  Alligator Snapping Turtle, Snapping Turtle
  • Average Adult Size: 15 – 26 inches
  • Life Span: 80 – 120 years, rarely they can reach 200 years
  • Average Price Range: Approximately $50, banned in some states
  • Conservation Status:  Vulnerable

These large turtles can reach weights of up to 150-175 pounds. They are typically found in slow moving bodies of water such as rivers, ponds, swamps and canals. They like to bury themselves into the muddy bottoms.

They’re nocturnal creatures, and are therefore more active at night.

Alligator Snapping Turtles have a lower rate or reproduction as they reach sexual maturity between 11-13 years old, and do not produce eggs during every mating season.

Their appearance may be a bit daunting as they resemble dinosaurs. They have strong jaws and their names come from their behaviour as they tend to snap when they are disturbed. Their diets consist of aquatic animals like fish, frogs, snails and aquatic plants.

They have been known to be active hunters but they can be found sitting with their mouths open waiting for fish to swim into it.

19. Eastern Chicken Turtle

Eastern Chicken Turtle (Deirochelys reticularia reticularia)
Eastern Chicken Turtle (Deirochelys reticularia reticularia)
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Scientific Name:Deirochelys reticularia
  • Common Name:  Chicken Turtle
  • Average Adult Size:  4 – 6 inches
  • Life Span: 20 – 24 years
  • Average Price Range: approximately $200
  • Conservation Status: Threatened

The Eastern Chicken Turtle mainly resides in shallow bodies of waters such as ponds or swamps. They enjoy basking in the sun outside of bodies of water. Their shells are oval or egg shaped.

They are typically duller in colour compared to other chicken turtles. Their shells have a yellowish pattern across it.

They are commonly found in shallow waters. Females are typically larger than males but overall they are a smaller species.

20. Florida Softshell

Florida Softshell Turtle
Florida Softshell Turtle
  • Experience level: Intermediate
  • Family: Trionychidae
  • Scientific Name: Apalone ferox
  • Common Name: Softshell
  • Average Adult Size: + 2 feet long
  • Life Span: 25 + years
  • Average Price Range: approximately $60 – 260
  • Conservation Status: Least concern

Softshell turtles has a soft shell as their name suggests, which makes them vulnerable to predators. Their nature can be aggressive due to this. It is advised not to approach them in the wild, or allow them near young children.

They are large turtles and live in water bodies such as streams, and lakes. They only leave the water to bask and lay eggs.

They have a “pig” like snout that is long and flat. Their diets are carnivorous and they eat aquatic insects, fish, snails and eggs.

21. Eastern Spiny Softshell

Eastern_Spiny_Softshell_Turtle
Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle in front yard
  • Experience level: Intermediate/expert
  • Family: Trionychidae
  • Scientific Name: Apalone spinifera
  • Common Name: Spiny Softshell Turtle
  • Average Adult Size: 5 – 20 inches
  • Life Span: 40 – 60 years
  • Average Price Range: Approximately $50 – 150
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern

The Eastern Spiny Softshell is a medium to larger aquatic turtle. Their bodies and shells are flat, and soft. They are brown to olive green in colour and their feet are webbed.

Their diets are carnivorous and they prefer to eat insects, snails and smaller aquatic animals. They are mainly found in freshwater such as ponds, rivers, lakes and streams.

The Eastern Spiny Softshell has a “pig” like nose as it is long and flat.

22. Gulf Coast Smooth Softshell

Smooth-Softshell-Turtle
Smooth Softshell Turtle on mud
  • Experience level: beginner – intermediate
  • Family: Trionychidae
  • Scientific Name: Apalone calvata
  • Common Name: Smooth Softshell
  • Average Adult Size: 4 – 14 inches
  • Life Span: 50 years +
  • Average Price Range: approximately $40
  • Conservation Status: Least concern

This species of Softshell Turtles are similar to other Softshells. They can be found in freshwater and along the Gulf of Mexico. Their habitat is typically lakes, rivers, or marshes. They prefer bodies of water with less vegetation and muddy bottoms.

They will leave the water to bask on logs, and will hide underneath the sandy bottoms of waterbeds and wait for their prey. They predominantly eat aquatic animals and fish such as crayfish, snails.

Mostly they find their food underneath logs and rocks.

Their shells are soft which makes them more vulnerable. Their heads and necks have yellow and brown stripes, their bodies are olive or tan with black speckles on it.

23. Gulf Coast Spiny Softshell

spiny softshell turtle (apalone spinifera)
Spiny Softshell turtle
  • Experience level: beginner – intermediate
  • Family: Trionychidae
  • Scientific Name: Apalone spinifera aspera
  • Common Name: Spiny Softshell
  • Average Adult Size: 10 – 18 inches
  • Life Span: 50+ years
  • Average Price Range: approximately $60 – $200
  • Conservation Status: Least concern

The Gulf Coast Spiny Softshell has two black stripes running along the back of their shell. They have small spikes or spines along the edges of their shells and their heads and necks have yellow and brown markings along it.

Their bodies are tan or olive, and their underbelly is yellow to whitish. Their shells are soft and their noses are “pig” like with a long, flat snout.

Females are almost twice as big as males. They are known as opportunistic feeders and will eat almost anything that can fit into their mouths.

They have skittish behaviours and will bury themselves in the sand if they feel threatened.

24. Midland Smooth Softshell

Midland Smooth Softshell Turtle (Apalone mutica mutica)
Midland Smooth Softshell Turtle (Apalone mutica mutica)
  • Experience level: Intermediate
  • Family: Trionychidae
  • Scientific Name: Apalone mutica mutica
  • Common Name: Midland Smooth Shell
  • Average Adult Size: 6 – 13 inches
  • Life Span: 40 – 60 years
  • Average Price Range: Approximately $50
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern

The Midland Smooth Softshell are aquatic animals that are fairly capable and fast on land. They are more vulnerable to attack as their shells are soft and rubbery. Their habitats are primarily bodies of water such as rivers or streams where there is an abundance of mud or sand.

They can also be found in standing water as opposed to other species that prefer fast moving currents. Their diets are omnivorous and consist of aquatic insects and vegetation. They will however prefer to eat fish and meat over vegetation. 

25. Mississippi Diamondback Terrapin

Mississippi-Diamondback-Terrapin
Mississippi Diamondback Terrapin on white background
  • Experience level: Intermediate – expert
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Scientific Name: Malaclemys terrapin pileata (Wied)
  • Common Name: Mississippi Diamondback Terrapin, Diamondback Terrapin
  • Average Adult Size: 5.5 – 11 inches
  • Life Span: 25 – 40 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a it is illegal to own a Mississippi Diamondback Terrapin as a pet
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Mississippi Diamondback Terrapins have an extremely timid nature and in fact can develop health issues in captivity from stress. Their name “Terrapin” means little turtle. They have raised diamond shapes on their shells.

They inhabitat brackish water and can be found in shallow waters. They have light orange to yellow colouring, or gray skin with darker coloured speckles and a white/gray head.

They are docile and can be handled, but are known to bite when threatened. They are social and have been noted to pile into groups while basking in the sun.

Check out our article on Diamondback terrapins for all the subspecies.

26. Eastern Box Turtle

Eastern Box turtle eating with vitamin a deficiency
Eastern Box turtle eating with vitamin a deficiency
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Scientific Name: Terrapene carolina carolina
  • Common Name:  Box Turtle, Eastern Box Turtle, land turtle
  • Average Adult Size:  5 – 7 inches
  • Life Span: 30 – 50 years
  • Average Price Range: Approximately $250
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable

The Eastern Box Turtle is more active during the day, and are one of the slowest reproducing reptile species. They are a more social species and are known to recognise their humans, and even to beg for food.

Despite being more social, they should not be handled too frequently or approached suddenly in the wild. This could cause stress to the turtle.

They eat a large variety of vegetation and animals, such as slugs, snails, berries and flowers. Their shells are domelike and are a brownish/black colour with yellow to orange patterns on them.

27. Gopher Tortoise

Gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)
Gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)
  • Experience level: N/A
  • Family: Testudinidae
  • Scientific Name: Gopherus polyphemus
  • Common Name: Gopher
  • Average Adult Size: 9 – 11 inches
  • Life Span: 40 – 60 years
  • Average Price Range: It is illegal to own a Gopher Tortoise as a pet
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Gopher Tortoises are endangered and as such have been listed as a protected species. It is illegal to domesticate or own a Gopher Tortoise as a pet. They burrow deeply into the ground and are a terrestrial animal.

They are more active in warmer weather and their burrows maintain a constant temperature.

Their diets primarily consist of vegetation such as flowers, grass, mushrooms, apples and berries. They will however also eat dead crabs or insects that they come across. They are known as opportunistic eaters.

28. Atlantic Leatherback Sea Turtle

Leatherback Sea turtle
Leatherback Sea turtle on beach
  • Experience level: Expert
  • Family: Dermochelyidae
  • Scientific Name: Dermochelys coriacea (Linnaeus)
  • Common Name:   Atlantic Leatherback, Leatherback
  • Average Adult Size: 3.3–5.7 ft
  • Life Span: 30 – 100 years
  • Average Price Range:
  • Conservation Status:  Vulnerable

The Atlantic Leatherback is found in the sea, and reaches mammoth sizes. They can get up to 550 – 1 540 lbs in weight, and 3.3 – 5.7 ft. They are darker in colour and their shells are unique in that it is made up of small bones that are covered in black skin.

They are mainly found in the Gulf of Mexico. Their diets consist mainly of jellyfish. Unfortunately they are endangered due to human intervention in their habitats, and often only 1000 hatchlings survive.

29. Green Sea Turtle

Green sea turtle swimming in ocean
Green sea turtle swimming in ocean
  • Experience level: n/a
  • Family: Cheloniidae
  • Scientific Name: Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus)
  • Common Name: Green Sea Turtle
  • Average Adult Size: + 5 ft
  • Life Span: 60 – 70 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a
  • Conservation Status: Endangered

Green Sea Turtles are mammoth creatures that can get upwards of 300kgs. They can be found in oceans and seas, and lay their eggs on the beach. They begin life by eating a carnivorous diet and as they age adapt to eating more of an omnivorous diet.

They have become endangered as they don’t reproduce as quickly and humans have interfered with their habitats and nesting grounds. Juveniles are also at high risk for being picked off by predators.

30. Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle

Kemps_Ridley_sea_turtle_nesting
Kemps Ridley sea turtle nesting
  • Experience level: n/a
  • Family: Cheloniidae
  • Scientific Name:  Lepidochelys kempi (Garman)
  • Common Name: Sea Turtle, Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle
  • Average Adult Size: 2 + feet
  • Life Span: 30 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a
  • Conservation Status: Critically endangered

Kemp Ridley Sea Turtles are large turtles but are the smallest of the sea turtles. They have flippers and an adapted beak. Typically they reach 30 inches in length and around 45 kgs.

They can be found along the Gulf of Mexico. As they age they change in colour. Hatchlings are dark purple along their sides, and they develop a yellow-green colour as they mature.

Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle is also the only sea turtle that nests during the day.

31. Loggerhead Sea Turtle

loggerhead sea turtle swimming
loggerhead sea turtle swimming
  • Family: Cheloniidae
  • Scientific Name: Caretta Caretta
  • Other Names:
  • Adult Size: Between 30 and 45 inches
  • Weight: Approximately 155 pounds
  • Lifespan: Between 70 and 80 years
  • Conservation Status: Endangered

These endangered sea turtles are mainly around coastal regions and in shallow bays. They prefer sub-tropical climates and sandy beaches for nesting.

Visit our Loggerhead sea turtle page for more information.

Conclusion

Alabama is home to the most species of turtles in the United States and hosts approximately 34 species. Its landscape has multiple water bodies which create the perfect habitat for aquatic and land turtles to settle into.

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