Skillelinie

Emys o. orbicularis

(European pond turtle)

Adult emys
 
The european pond turtle is the most cold resistant of the european turtles. It is found in breeding populations in Northern Germany, Polen and the Baltic countries. I Denmark few specimems are found every year, but a real population is only found in Jutland around Velling Igelsø. It is not finally determinated if they are a natural population or introduced animals, but they have been observated for more than 100 years. They were here in the Iron age and maybe survived in suitable places when the wether got colder. Compared to the Baltic countries the climate is similar and they manage to survive there. Only one nest  with fully grown embryos has been found near Ballerup back in 1970.
 
Emys baby only the head outside the egg
 

The northern form of the european pond turtle is relatively large. Carapex on more than 20 cm isn`t unusual and animals above 30 cm are found. They are black with yellow spots on carapex and body. The eyes of the males are brownred and the female has yellow eyes. Juveniles are brownish with a size of 26 x 22 mm and a weight of about 5 g.

 
Emys baby on the way out of the egg
 

The european pond turtle emerge from hibernation in the end of March or the beginning of April and used hours of sunbasking every day all summer. It is a carnivor and prey on water insects, water snails, leaches, fish and amphibiens. Even during winter I have seen them eating dead frogs under the ice. Copulation takes place all year exept in the winter, and eggs are only deposited from May to the end of July. 2 clutches are posible in one year. Before digging her nest the female seeks the surrounding areas for a suitable place for days and the nest can in nature be placed as far away as 5 kilometers from the pond. Most nests are placed on a southern slope with sandy soil in full sun. Eggs hatches after 57-90 days and juveniles often stays in the nest until next spring. Sex in temperature dependent and females are only produced if temperature is 28 *C or higher.

 
Emys baby just out of the egg
 
Our european pond turtles belongs to the northern form and originate from northern Germany. The inhabit a 450 square meter palludarium with a 50 square meter pond. They are fed mainly on freshwater fish but find a lot of their food in the pond that is filled with snails and water insects. In May the females starts to leave the pond seeking for a suitible place for their eggs. The use a southern faced slope for the nest. In the nest she deposit 10-18 eggs. Juveniles grows rapidly on earth worms, fish and insects and mature in 4-6 years when kept inside.
 
Emys babies