The River Cooter is a freshwater turtle native to the central and eastern United States. They are normally found in rivers with moderate currents, as well as lakes and tidal marshes. River Cooters enjoy basking on logs or sun warmed rocks. The term Cooter is believed to have come from an African word 'kuta' which means turtle in the Bambara and Malinke language. The River Cooter is omnivorous and will eat practically anything; plant or animal, whether it is dead or alive. Their diet seems to be determined by the available food items. The River Cooter cannot swallow out of water. It will leave the water to retrieve a bug or worm and then return to the water to swallow. They are also known to enthusiastically chase, kill and eat small fish.
Eastern River Cooter