This is probably a silly question but my curiosity has bubbled over.
I ride mountain bike trails around 5-6 times a week and generally I will see turtles on the trail 2-4 times. Sometimes I even see 2 or 3 turtles in one ride. I wonder if anyone else experiences this?
They are always right in the middle of the trail just chilling, out of their shell. I usually move them off of the trail out of fear of seeing a smashed up turtle on the ride back. I am not sure if location matters, but I ride in and around West Alabama. The trails I see them on are generally very dry and rocky. Also, I have noticed that most of them are not in direct sunlight when sitting on the trail. The canopy is usually pretty thick so, (I assume) there is not much difference in the location other than the debris (leaves, pine straw, etc) being more cleared on the trails.
I don't know specifically what kind of turtles these are but they all seem to be alike in size and shell pattern. Here are some pictures of a few that I have seen. Please excuse the bad quality:
My Question: Why do turtles sit in the middle of bike trails and should I be moving them off the trail?