About European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) Danube Delta
The European Pond Turtle (Emysorbicularis) is a species with a wide area of spread. This species can be found in Europe, West Asia and in the North-West of Africa, but it is a species in danger of extinction.
The size of a European Pond Turtle varies between 15 and 25 cm and its body shape evolves from round, at youngsters, to a more oval shape, at adults. Its shell is wider in its posterior side. Its posterior members are ended with 4 palmed fingers and its forelegs with 5. The fingers are united by an interdigital membrane, which helps the turtle to swim.The European Pond Turtle is an agile species and a very good swimmer. It hunts in the water and it feeds on crustaceans, invertebrates, fish and insects. The females are larger than males. Males remain longer in the water than females, which sleep mostly on dry land.
During the reproduction season, the female lays between 3 and 16 eggs, in a whole, which she has made digging with her posterior members. The eggs have an oval shape and a hard shell. The incubation lasts from 3 to 4 months. In the Danube's Delta, the eggs are laid in flooded areas. The youngsters will hatch during the next autumn or spring, helping themselves with a hatching tooth.
The European Pond Turtle hibernates, from September to April, on the bottom of the lakes. This species is protected by law.