Do you ever wonder where the turtles at Hudson Gardens go once winter comes?
Freshwater turtles, such as the western painted turtle and the common snapping turtle (who both call Hudson Gardens home), nestle into the mud at the bottom of our ponds. As it gets colder, their metabolism slows down. By slowing down their metabolism, the turtles can survive for months without food and with very little oxygen.
This hibernation-like state is called brumation or torpor, and is seen in many cold-blooded animals such as snakes, bearded dragons, tortoises, and turtles. Unlike hibernation, these animals are not sleeping, but rather their body slows down while they remain conscious.
Once it begins to warm up again, the turtles will slowly start to move as their body temperature and metabolism continues to rise.
Be on the lookout for turtles sunbathing on logs and the side of ponds as they try to raise their body temperatures!