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Florida Springs Turtles

Wakulla Springs, Florida

During our visit to Wakulla Springs in Florida last year, we saw plenty of wildlife including Anhingas, Alligators, American Coots, and of course, turtles. Featured in the photo above are 3 "cooter" turtles that belong to the Pseudemys genus.

"They are often referred to as cooters, which stems from kuta, the word for turtle in the Bambara and Malinké languages, brought to America by enslaved people from Africa."

Perhaps the most exciting sighting of a turtle was when we were able to catch a glimpse of the soft-shell turtle swimming in the Springs. They're easy to differentiate from box turtles, even from a distance due to their unique snout and flat body shape. During our tour of Florida Springs we learned about Virgil, the soft shell turtle that lives in Blue Grotto Springs. She'll be old enough to qualify for Medicare next year and has even lived through parts of the Vietnam War, moon landings, and Watergate according to an article all about her on the Blue Grotto Springs website.

Softshell Turtles (Trionychidae)
The Trionychidae family of turtles are named after their leathery, flat shells that lack boney scutes.
While the absence of a heavy, armored shell may leave softshell turtles physically vulnerable to predators, it also enables them to flee faster than other turtles.


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