Monday, 23 February 2015

Pond life in the winter- terrapins and fish

My Pond Turtle-  Emys orbicularis
What do turtles do in the winter? Turtles will hibernate on land, they will dig into the soil under the frost line, and sometimes will go in very deep leaf litter. They can also hibernate in the water. Turtles breathe with their lungs, at least from spring to late autumn. They need very little oxygen when they are hibernating and if they hibernate in the water they can get it from there.  In winter their metabolism will slow right down to the bare minimum needed for life, their heart will slowly stop beating and they will breathe very slowly.  If you watch them, you will notice that they breathe very quickly in the summer and then very slowly when it's winter. Food is no problem when hibernating  for the turtle, because they will hunt for a couple of days before winter until they can't eat anymore! - here is an video of my pond turtle eating bread!

Common carp- Cyprinus carpio

What do our fish do in the winter?  Common carp hibernate under mud in the ponds .We dug our pond deep in the ground so that the carp could over winter there. Apparently the carp like to go to deeper waters because it's warmer then the shallow waters at winter! Carp can survive very cold winters. We know that for sure because here in Bulgaria there are some very cold winters and they still live. Last year we had carp, perch and roach in our pond but after the winter ended there were only carp left. I could see loads of dead perch and roaches when the ice had melted but not one single carp - they had all lived!


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