Okefenokee Turtle Egg Predation

Two turtle egg shells held in the hand. Nests are often dug up and plundered by predators such as bear, bobcat, raccoon, Billy`s Island, Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, USA. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally from Dreamstime.com.

While an adult turtle’s shell is hard and seemingly impenetrable, an unborn turtle’s eggshell is nowhere near as tough. In fact, turtle eggs are a swamp delicacy! From the number of scavenged nests I found on my May 2020 Okefenokee paddling trip, it seems everything eats turtle eggs. Bears, raccoons, skunks, opossums, crows, bobcats and more all dig up and eat this swamp caviar.

Since there are reportedly 15 species of turtles in the Okefenokee Swamp, I can’t be sure what species laid the eggs. Perhaps a Cooter, Slider or a Softshell. Either way, the predator that tore open the nest didn’t discriminate! Some turtles are known to lay their eggs inside an active alligator nest in order to receive the protection of the fierce mother gator.

iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/51493923

Turtle Eggs in the Okefenokee Swamp

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I'm currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website www.williamwisephoto.com displays "Creation Speaks", a teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation, "Nature Notes", a wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty and design of God’s creation, and "Waltonpets Furtography Blog", my animal shelter dog rescue photography blog. -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations." Psalms 104, The Message.

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