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Kristina Timmerman, Biology


Painted turtles, a reptile native to North America, have been known the bask in areas of relatively shallow water with direct sunlight. In our study we looked for notable traits of basking sites being used by painted turtles around Lake Sagatagan in Collegeville, MN. Data was taken at every location that painted turtles were observed basking and was then paired with a random location around the lake to see if there were differences between the specific locations with turtles and the overall lake ecosystem. Through this process we observed that turtles tended to bask in areas off cooler, shallower water, while remaining close to shore. This is suspected to be because turtles need to bask when water is cooler, but not when it is warm enough to maintain the suitable body temperature. Their presence in shallow water near shore was likely due to the existence of potential substrates in areas of shallow water, like trees fallen from shore or rocks big enough to be above the water’s surface.

Hypothesis: There is a relationship between habitat features / factors and turtle presence.

Prediction: We expect to find turtles in areas with shallow water and plenty of basking sites.