The other day I came across this little guy on my way back from the beach, resting on this plastic carpet. Almost stepped on him, or her.
On a closer look I realized it was a diamondback terrapin turtle. Not bigger than a quarter, it was resting and sleeping for a minute or two on this weaved blue plastic carpet. It's there during the season to make it easier for beach goers to make their way back to the parking lot after a long day in the sun and water. There were clear tracks in the sand leading to this carpet so I got curious and followed them. Made my way into the dunes for about 50 fee till I lost them once past this large thick bush.
The mother lays about 6-10 eggs in a deep hole in the sand during April and May and sometimes as late as July. And then just leaves. That's it. The eggs hatch in about 60-85 days, depending on the sand temperature. She'll never see her babies. They're totally on their own. So I'm thinking this little guy must have just popped out of the sand a couple hours ago.
The diamondback terrapin is believed to be the only turtle in the world that lives exclusively in brackish water (containing some salt, but not as much as ocean water) habitats like tidal marshes, estuaries and lagoons.