Robert Henderson's picture

Marsh Terrapin 1

The Marsh Terrapin, is a fairly large turtle that inhabits ponds and pools all over East Africa. During the dry season they bury themselves in the mud as the pools dry out, where they remain until the start of the next rainy season. When we visited the Nyerere National Park in November 2023 the first of the heavy rains had just started. The muddy fields near the Rufigi River were covered in catfish and terrapins that had just dug their way out of the mud. They were walking across the rainy mud looking for deeper water channels and pools where they could have a little protection. One of the most interesting things about the terrapins (also known as African Helmeted Turtles) was how many had crocodile tooth marks in their carapace. These are large turtles with a carapace up to 20 cm. They were quite wary of potential predators, and disappeared into deeper water pretty quickly when we arrived.

I took the image with a Canon EOS R6 with a Canon 200-400 F4L IS USM 1.4 EXT lens, f4, ISO 8000, 1/1600 sec, 200 mm, handheld.

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