This Wood Turtle is climbing up a sandy hill in order to find a high elevation site in which to lay her eggs, one where the soil temperature is just right and where flooding is not likely to occur.
Twice a year, in the spring and fall, Wood Turtles engage in a mating ritual that involves both turtles “dancing” with each other prior to copulating in the water. Once mating has occurred, the female seeks out a suitable habitat in which to lay her 3-20 eggs, usually near a stream. Once the nest cavity has been dug, the eggs laid, and the cavity filled with dirt and/or leaves, the female departs, never to provide care for her young. The eggs hatch and the hatchlings emerge from the nest sometime between August and October. Unlike most turtles, the sex of the hatchlings is determined genetically and not by the temperature of the eggs.
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