River Cooter (Psecudemys Concinna)

Conservation status

IUCN: Red List: Least Concern

Key Descriptions

A fairly large turtle commonly found basking on logs & rocks along rivers & streams, the River Cooter is the largest North American member of its family. The species is distinguished by its narrow yet oval – shaped shell which ranges from a dark murky green to brown colour. They are largely herbivorous, regularly foraging on aquatic plants & algae within their habitat.


River cooters occur naturally in the eastern & central United States ranging from eastern Texas through Oklahoma & Tennessee to Virginia where they thrive in rivers with moderate current due to the adaptation of their powerful legs which allow them to traverse relatively fast on land or in water. Apart from basking on rocks & logs, River cooters spend a majority of time in water feeding on aquatic vegetation.

Social Life

These turtles prefer to live in groups. A diurnal species, River Cooters are prolific baskers who tend to pile on top of each other in the wild to maximize their UVB intake of the suns’ rays which is pivotal to temperature regulation & digestion. Rather shy animals, they slide into the water upon the first signs of danger, hiding mainly in aquatic vegetation within their ranges. In cooler climates, these turtles will remain dormant, lowering their metabolism.

Fun Facts


Fruits & Vegetables

Key Information

Weight:Up to 5kg
Lifespan:30-40 years

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