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Cooters are sun-loving freshwater turtles that spend much of day basking on logs at the edges of ponds, lakes, and rivers in the Southeastern United States.  At the first sign of danger, they quickly slip into the water to escape. Cooters feed primarily on aquatic plants.

common cooter swimming

Did You Know?

The term “cooter” may have come from the African word “kuta,” which means turtle.

Quick Facts

Latin Name:
Pseudemys concinna floridana

12 – 16 inches

35 years

Zoo Location:
Manatee Springs

Water plants, algae, pondweeds, fallen leaves and seeds of trees. They will rarely eat crayfish, carrion, tadpoles, snails and insects.