I’ve only just learned that today, Monday, May 23, is World Turtle Day. Jerry noted the holiday in today’s Hili Dialogue, but I missed it, so my apologies for posting so late in the day.
The day is sponsored by American Tortoise Rescue, so I thought it appropriate to share a video of Zelby, a tortoise who is an acquaintance of mine.
Zelby is a member of the genus Testudo, and is one of the species from the Mediterranean area which also extend eastward into Asia. The species might be T. horsfieldi, the Russian Tortoise. There are several forms of this group popular in the pet trade; the alpha systematics is still in flux, and I don’t know the group well.
Zelby is dining on mixed greens and cucumber slices.
I was not aware that yesterday was World Turtle Day. My only excuse is that I had spent the previous nine days in Costa Rica, and thus was largely out of touch with the Internet. (More on Costa Rica later.) So, a day late, here are my turtles.
First, here’s Slidey, a Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans).
This is a southern U.S. subspecies of a species complex widespread from the southeastern U.S. down into South America, and also found widely in the West Indies. This is one of the most popular turtles in the pet trade, and has become invasive in places. Even outside areas it can successfully reproduce, released individuals can survive. I have seen released/escaped individuals in New York, Maryland, and Wisconsin.
Here is me with Slidey (and also Toady, my Giant Toad [Bufo marinus]), at an eco-fair at Gateway Technical College in Racine, Wisconsin, in March, 2016. The theme of my exhibit was invasive species. (I also had a preserved lamprey, just barely visible in the jar below Slidey, and a small buckthorn which I had uprooted and brought in whole, whose branches can be seen sticking up above the Dell monitor. All these species are invasives which, at least in some places, have had negative consequences.)
Here is Snappy, a Snapping Turtle, (Chelydra serpentina), which is not an invasive species. It (or close relatives) is native from Canada down to northern South America.
And finally, not one of my turtles, but a Galapagos Tortoise from Charles Island.