2021 AMI Online Salon

Crushing It! Jaw Power of the Diamondback Terrapin

Project Details

  • Entrant Name:  Jennifer Wang
  • Client: Jack Cover (National Aquarium), Tim Phelps, Jeff Day
  • Copyright: Jennifer Wang, 2021
  • Medium/software used: Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Final presentation format: Poster
  • Primary Audience: General public visiting the National Aquarium, terrapin biologists


Project Description

The diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) has developed a unique morphology that enables it to feed on various hard-shelled invertebrates living in tidal marsh habitats. The dynamic action shot in the center of the poster depicts a rarely documented feeding stage as a female terrapin reaches out to bite and crush a periwinkle snail off of the nearby marsh grass. The terrapin’s head is brightly lit, which contrasts with its dark neck, shadows, and shell, further drawing the viewer to its eye and mouth before it strikes. Surrounding the terrapin are graphical insets that use didactic and muted flat color to further highlight the anatomy of the terrapin without detracting from the drama of the central image. A separate panel on the right represents data visualized from published literature, giving more information on the areas of habitation for terrapins and the variety of hard-shelled prey they consume. Range bars represent the ratios of force in Newtons needed to crush their prey.