Updates!

Well, I hadn’t expected to be buried under grant applications for the better part of a month, nor did I expect to spill water on my personal Mac and render its RAM inoperable, but both of these things happened in the past few weeks. Even worse, several pictures that I took of emerging turtles are currently locked on my personal computer’s hard drive, so it’s going to take a repair to retrieve them… provided that I can scrape the money together to make that happen.

On a positive note, several more turtles have returned to activity, including Boxy and Mr. Putty, who I found resting right on top of each other in the corner of our courtyard, not far from where Coquí emerged.

In the video above, you can see Mr. Putty walk for the first time in nearly five months–I can only imagine how stiff his muscles must be!

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Another pleasant surprise was the return of Confetti (pictured above), our only ornate box turtle. Even though it probably wasn’t necessary, I was concerned about the moisture in our courtyard during the winter and how it might affect him, since ornate box turtles generally live in drier grassland and desert habitats. So even though he’d lived in the Riverside School courtyard for at least five years, and probably a whole lot more, I decided to take him home, where I have a smaller (and drier) box turtle enclosure set up. He disappeared in late October, and I hoped for the best that he’d make it though.

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Confetti–top view

Sure enough, a dirty little turtle was rustling through the leaves about three weeks ago, on a warm April afternoon. This was my first chance to get some nice pictures of his carapace (top shell–see above) and plastron (bottom shell), as well as a shot of his bright patterning after a dip in the small pond that I’ve installed.

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Confetti–bottom view

 

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Confetti’s shell almost sparkles when it’s clean!

If you take a close look at Confetti’s shell scales, which are called scutes, it is very hard to see any growth rings, which means that he must be pretty old. Over time, these markings wear away, but for comparison, take a look at the growth rings on a younger ornate box turtle, pictured below.

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In comparison, Confetti’s shell looks polished smooth! The picture above comes from the two additional ornate box turtles that I recently purchased to keep Confetti company, since I didn’t want him roaming this new habitat alone. Below are the two new additions, which were named by students at Riverside School.

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Here is Tender Chicken, named by a first grader (and still I don’t know why).
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Here is Pringles, named by a prekindergartener (maybe that’s a favorite food?).

I’ll be sure to post more on how these three get along!

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