It’s World Turtle Day, and so, in addition to our usual wildlife posts, I’m putting up some readers’ photos of their turtles, including photos of how they can be damaged through human carelessness. Readers’ captions are indented, and clicking on the photos will enlarge them.
First, from Divy Figueroa:
Here are a couple of turtle pics from our collection. This little guy was one of our first hatchlings of this species.
Mekong Snail-Eating Turtle (Malayemys subtrijuga):
These are a couple of baby Forsten’s Tortoises (Indotestudo forstenii). We have a nice group of adults and sub-adults. They come from the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, and sadly, they are endangered.
From reader Christopher McLaughlin:
Since Sunday, May 23 in World Turtle Day, I thought I would share some photos of local turtles (tortoises for you persnickety types). Three of them demonstrate how hard life is for the modern turtle and why we all ought to be more thoughtful and kind to turtles. Of course they suffer from all sort of issues; habitat destruction, poaching, pet trade, road crossings, invasive species, climate change, but also lawnmowers, wildfires, and being harmed by our pets.
The first turtle of the year, found in my yard on April 7, still covered in mud and just after a breakfast of dandelion flowers. The ornate box turtle, Terrepene ornata ornata. (Female, I think. I forgot to check)
Carapace damage from a brush hog-type mower favored by rural men to unnecessarily mow large swaths of grassland like the cow pasture behind my property. Terrapene carolina triunguis. (Male)
Prairie fire damage. These little dudes are able to withstand some serious damage from the fires that have always played a part in their ecosystems, and I could not be for certain that this wasn’t completely natural but it was on a nearby prairie “managed” by the conservation department and frankly they are not the most scientifically minded people, but are more concerned with “managing” lands for hunting and fishing. And yes, she is a survivor, a little melted and disfigured but with head, all four limbs, and tail intact. Terrepene ornata ornata (female)
Another one from my yard with the usual brush hog damage, with the white bone showing through the carapace scutes, but also missing chunks of marginal scutes and carapace bone just in front of my thumb and another chunk on his backside. Terrapene ornata ornata. (Male)