Ranges different for mature versus young individuals; mature individuals stay in the Gulf of Mexico and young can be found in the Gulf of Mexico and up the east coast of the United States as far north as Nova Scotia.
Adult habitat can be shallow water on coast. Prefers areas with muddy or sandy bottoms in which crabs are plentiful. After young hatch, they spend up to four years in ocean current weedlines. Use powerful jaws to crush and ingest clams, crabs, and shrimp. Also eats fish and jellyfish.
Adults display a greyish green carapace and a white or yellow plastron; bony, rounded carapace and 5 lateral scutes. One claw on each front flipper and back flippers can have either one or two claws. Hatchlings display black color. Mature individuals range from 2 feet, or 58 – 66 cm, in overall carapace length.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians