River Cooter Turtle may also be known as Dan River Cooter,
Basking Turtle, and Florida Cooter. The adult River Cooter may
reach a foot in length. Relatively young individuals have distinctive
markings on the underside that may disappear as the turtle ages.
Some older specimens are dark brown to black when seen from a
distance. Dried mud on the upper carapace may appear as a gray
color, and green algae on some specimens produce a dark greenish
cast when moist. The notched bottom edge of the carapace is characteristic
of the cooters.
Winter months are spent in the mud or on the bottom of
some river or body of water. Proper weather conditions allow
anyone to spot these numerous turtles basking on rocks and partly
submerged tree limbs. Nearly all turtles bask in the sun, but
the sunbathing habit is especially marked among members of this
group, who often pile on top of one another on a favorite log.