12. Diamondback Terrapin

The diamondback terrapin is found only in the salt marsh, preferring creeks bordered by Spartina that open onto a sound or large river. They swim in the creeks and crawl up on high banks to nest. They are the only reptile truly at home in the salt marsh. Alligators often visit the salt marsh, but must return occasionally to areas of freshwater in order to drink.

Terrapin | The Salt Marsh


The upper surface of the terrapin's shell, called the carapace, is formed of 13 plates, or scutes. Each scute is roughly circular and grooved with rings. Since one ring is formed each year, the age of...