Appearance: The eastern mud turtle is small and only grows to be 3-5 inches long as an adult. They have an unmarked shell that ranges in color from brown to olive. Unlike most other turtles, eastern mud turtles have two hinges on their plastron (lower shell) to help protect their limbs from predators. In the wild, they can live between 20-40 years; in captivity, they can live up to 50.
Behavior: Often confused with their cousin, the eastern musk turtle, they also can release a foul smell while under stress. They are also semi-aquatic but prefer to crawl through slow-moving water.
Range: Eastern mud turtles are found along the eastern coast of the United States and go as far west as Texas.
Diet: Their diet is varied and can include crustaceans, mollusks, insects, seeds, and aquatic plants.
Date of Birth: July 1, 2005
Donatello was born at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia and came to the WNC Nature Center in September 2019.