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by Clara da Silva

Young might avoid predators by spending their first winter in the nest but for the next 40 - 60 years they will hibernate underwater sheltering under logs, stumps, in beaver lodges. With a remarkably high freeze tolerance painted turtles are able to dramatically reduce metabolic rates permitting one of the most northern range for all North American turtles. Painted turtles burrow into the soft mud underwater absorbing oxygen dissolved in water through blood vessels in the mouths while sleeping. Reported to extent their necks out of the muddy bottoms they pump water into their mouths to maintain sufficient oxygenation for up to 150 days even in ice covered shallow ponds.


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