Monthly Archives: January 2012

February Herp Room Animal of the Month

Who deserves the prize? Will our turtles claim another Herp Room Title or will one of our other animals take home the gold. You decide!!

January Herp Room Animal of the Month

Hey all you nature lovers! Thanks to everyone that participated in the first voting for the Herp Room Animal of the Month. It was a very back-and-forth battle between all of our January candidates, so much so, that I had to keep the poll open a bit longer because of a tie. But the dispute is over and the fat lady has sung…

The first Herp Room Animal of the Month of the year 2012 is…

The Diamondback Terrapin!

As Maryland’s beloved mascot, this turtle can be found in brackish (salt mixed with fresh water), swampy, coastal areas of the eastern US; ranging from Cape Cod, all the way down to the Florida Keys. They get there name from the diamond-shaped scutes or scales on their shell. They can tolerate salt water, unlike related turtles because of special glands and having skin that is almost impermeable to salt. These turtles are excellent swimmers, with webbed feet and a narrow shell to help quickly navigate through their shallow coastal habitat. They have a carnivorous appetite for a wide variety of creatures found on the coast including shrimp, snails, and crabs. Here at Ashland, the terrapin is fed worms throughout the week and is treated with the occasional fish. Like our other turtles, the diamondback terrapin competes in the International Turtle Race at the Harvest Moon Festival. He is a usual favorite and has won the race on numerous occasions. This year, he finished second in both races.

So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed hearing about the diamondback terrapin. Be sure to keep checking the blog because the voting for next month’s Herp Room Animal of the Month will be starting very soon!

Ask a Naturalist

Hey nature lovers!
Do you ave any questions about the Delaware Nature Society or about nature in general? Well then you’re in luck. Ask a Naturalist is your chance to ask questions about nature that will be answered by DNS staff. Some questions will be posted on the blog when they are answered. Send your questions to me ( and we will try and answer them for you!