Because aquatic turtles have to swim, most species have webbed claws

Jump to Species of Turtles that Stay Small - Spotted turtles are a semi-aquatic species of turtle
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Not all turtles have hard shells, however. Soft-shelled turtles, like the Eastern Spiny Soft-shell, have a leathery and pliable shell made mostly of skin and cartilage. These aquatic species lack the protection that comes with a full bony shell, but make up for it with a lower profile and better maneuverability in water.
Aquatic turtles have a variety of habitat require- ments depending on the species
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However, some other species need warmer temperatures, so you must keep the natural habits of your turtle in mind when deciding to house them outdoors. In warmer climates, aquatic turtles may be able to live outdoors year round. It is also possible to hibernate some species in an outdoor pond, although this is not without risk (see next page). Arizona has seven species of native turtles, including aquatic and terrestrial species
Photo provided by FlickrApr 25, 2017 - Indiana is home to various turtle species, both terrestrial and aquatic
Photo provided by FlickrMassachusetts has ten species of native terrestrial and aquatic turtles (not including sea ..
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Range and Habitat: Chicken turtles are found in the Coastal Plain of the southeastern U.S. but are absent from the Piedmont and Mountains. This species may be found in a variety of heavily-vegetated aquatic habitats but is generally absent from large permanent ponds and reservoirs. Chicken Turtles are most common in shallow, still waters, particularly ephemeral and seasonal wetlands with abundant vegetation. Conservation Status: Chicken Turtles are fairly common in our region and are not protected. However, the reliance of this species on temporary wetlands and its extensive use of both aquatic and terrestrial habitats make it potentially vulnerable to habitat loss and degradation.Habits: Chicken Turtles occasionally bask but spend most of their time in the water. They hunt amidst aquatic vegetation for prey which includes aquatic insects, amphibian larvae, small fish, and especially crayfish. This species is among the most terrestrial of our turtles and nearly all males and some females leave the wetland each fall to spend the winter buried in the forest. Additionally, during drought this species aestivates in uplands rather than migrating to other wetlands. Chicken Turtles are unusual among turtles in that they have a winter egg-laying period that begins in late summer and early fall, declines during the coldest months and resumes again in February and March. Eggs overwinter in the nest and emerge a year or more after eggs were laid. This species has a much "faster" life-history than other turtles in our region, meaning that young grow and mature quickly and adults do not live long (usually less than 15 yrs.) as other turtle species that share their range. Much that is known about the ecology of Chicken Turtles is derived from population studies conducted at the Savannah River Ecology Lab, particularly the work of Dr. Kurt Buhlmann.There are many different species of aquatic turtles, and each of them has their own needs in terms of food, temperature, lighting, and habitat. This page is just an introduction that talks about the needs of aquatic turtles in general, and provides links to care sheets for specific turtle species.