06 July 2011

Turtles of Magnesia

While exploring the ruins of Magnesia on the Maeander for snails last month in Turkey, I noticed a whole bunch of turtles in the nearby creek.

The creek, whose name I haven't bother to look up, was probably a tributary of the River Meander, which was not too far away. The banks of the creek were extremely muddy. The water level in the creek probably fluctuated depending on rainfall or on the amount of water removed for agriculture. These particular turtles apparently like the mud.

We were on a bridge above the creek. Despite the fact that the bridge was quite high, the turtles entered the water as soon as they spotted us peaking down. This was the closest picture of one I could get.

Based on the habitat and range information in the book I have on the amphibians and reptiles of Turkey*, the turtle is probably Mauremys caspica. But when it comes to turtles, I am just a bystander. So I could be quite wrong.

*Ibrahim Baran. Türkiye Amfibi ve Sürüngenleri. Tübitak. 2005.