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weighing and measuring


topic area:

diamondback terrapins

grade level:

3rd - 5th


Learn about the history of Poplar Island and how to collect data from terrapins including weight, length, and notch code. 

lesson details:

Diamondback Terrapins are unique turtles ranging from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Corpus Christi, Texas. Terrapins are the only turtles in the United States that live only in brackish water favoring the marshes in the area, including the Chesapeake Bay. Terrapins are not big turtle’s; adult females grow about 12 in and males about 6 in. The turtles in the TERP program are collected from Poplar Island and then released back to the island once they have grown larger. Many measurements are taken on these turtles to track their growth. Their measurements include weight, height, length, and the turtle’s notch code. In this lesson, learn how to take the measurements of the turtles, as well as the history of Poplar Island and how it relates to the Port of Baltimore.

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