The eggs have started hatching!

I was met with quite a surprise yesterday afternoon when I checked on the eggs in their incubator, which is really nothing more than a food storage container half-submerged in a 10-gallon fish tank and a aquarium heater set to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius). At that temperature, most of the babies produced should grow up into females, which I am hoping might

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Well, this is a surprise!

Time to do some editing of my turtle profiles! For the past three years, I had assumed that Bloopy Beans was a male, due to a slightly concave plastron and the fact that she (formerly he) was so shy that I never saw her eyes.   Yesterday evening, however, Bloopy Beans surprised me by digging a hole with her back legs, which could only

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Funding for an idea whose time has come

Over the fifteen years that I have been a teacher, two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and fourteen years as a parent, I have become increasingly aware of a profound disconnect in modern society. As we have become more and more heavily dependent on technology in nearly every aspect of our lives, we have lost our ancient contacts with the natural world. This

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What’s a sideneck turtle?

The one continent that doesn’t have any land-living turtles is Australia (aside from Antarctica, which doesn’t have turtles at all). They do have plenty of turtles, though, and we’re now going to include a pink-bellied sideneck turtle (Emydura subglobosa) in our studies. These turtles are native to Australia and New Guinea, and they are a special group of turtles that can’t draw heads back

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Tortoises!

Since I was unable to post for several weeks, there is plenty of news to report. Turtles keep emerging from hibernation, we are making contacts with a variety of turtle researchers and schools around the world, and I’ve decided to take in a few turtles from other parts of the world. The first two adoptions are leopard tortoises (pictured above) named Leo and Josephine.

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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

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The turtles are finally returning! Again!

My apologies for the iPhone pictures of inferior quality, since I hadn’t charged my camera; the past few weeks have been very quiet on the subject of turtles, because March started off warm, but then turned rather cold. As a result, most of the turtles went back into hibernation…or that’s what we’re guessing, at least. Even in an enclosed courtyard, we still aren’t sure

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Welcome back, Megan Spots!

Actually, there isn’t any reason to welcome her “back,” since she didn’t really go away, but this was the first day that I found a definite female above ground. I can only say “I” in this case, and not “we,” because everyone else was on spring break. Here is Megan Spots, named when she was found last year (2015) in the courtyard and photographed

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Turtle #7 of the year, more frogs…and lizards?!?!?

Weighing in at 99 grams, just like last September, Tortuga was the seventh turtle to come out of hibernation… or the fifth to come out voluntarily (sorry Ford Prefect and Googol). Interestingly, Tortuga appears to be another offspring of Yedlin and Boxy, and only these siblings have come out of hibernation  so far (with the exception of Bloopy Beans, who doesn’t appear to be

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The frogs have returned

“There’s a frog!” several of Ms. Bertone’s first grade students started shouting excitedly while we checked the Riverside School courtyard for signs of life. When I approached where they had made the discovery, everyone was quick to point. The sight reminded me of my own daughter, many years ago, when she jumped up and down and cheered at the sight of a frog in

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