The pictures shown below are from research completed by Jayme Wilhelm during the summer of 2002. We compared soil temperatures and soil water content of natural and man-made nest sites to see how egg mass, hatchling mass and hatchling overwinter survival were different. Man-made nests were behind the Science building at Loras and natural nests were monitored at Mud Lake Park north of Dubuque. Other pictures show the hatchlings in April after spending all winter in their nest chambers only 4-5 inches below the soil surface. Most survived. All Biology majors are encouraged to get involved in research here at Loras or at a larger university in the summer. You train yourself to be an expert on the specific research topic and are able to talk about it with many who are interested in your work.
A typical painted turtle nesting site near Mud Lake Park north of Dubuque.
Painted turtle in the act of laying her eggs June 2002.
Painted turtle hatchlings are alive and doing fine after 11 months in their nest chamber about 5 inches below the soil surface ALL WINTER! Amazing! How do they do it?? More research planned! You can help!