National Geographic : 1927 Feb
Photograph by Jacob Gayer TERRAPIN A LA MARYLAND The diamond-back terrapin are as much at home on land as in water, and during the summer months crawl through the marshes insearch offood, which consists of algae, marsh plants, crabs, fish, and most of the other forms of life that inhabit swamps. They cannot stay under water long ata time, except when hibernating. Then they burrow deep into the mud, out of reach of the frost, and sleep away the winter inatorpor very little removed from suspended animation. In colonial days, terrapin were so plentiful in Maryland watercourses thatthe great slave owners, when leasing their slaves to small planters, inserted a clause in the contract prohibiting the planter from feeding the slaves terrapin more than three times aweek. Now diamond-backs are so scarce that the terrapin farmer (see page 153) gets $25 per dozen for the popular sixtoeight-inch size and the individual purchaser pays $40 to the retailer.