Posts Tagged 'turtles'
Tags: Brooklyn, Green-Wood, reptiles, turtles
Tags: Brooklyn, frogs, reptiles, Texas, turtles
Big Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus).Bigger, much bigger: Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina). Possible looking for a place to exit the water and lay eggs (you need another reason to enforce the leash law in our parks?). Judging by the shell, I’d say I’ve seen this giant before. Also, even enormous Snappers start small; here’s a baby I found in Mass a couple of years ago.And much bigger still: an American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)Steady! Not in Brooklyn. Spotted on my Texas trip last month.
A pile-up of turtles. But not all of these are Red-eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans), which dominate the waters in Prospect Park. If you look closely, you’ll notice one of the shells is rather smoother than the others, and, although out of focus, its red highlights on the underside sing out “Painted Turtle” (Chrysemys picta).Here’s another, one of half a dozen amid the dozens of RES. A gorgeous shell, I think you will agree (no filtering here, btw).And another. The most Painteds I’ve ever seen in the Lullwater.Lots of flaming red underneath, the Painteds, but no red on the head. (Older RES tend to lose their red “ear” mark, though.)Are you ready to pick out the Painted now?
This one, however, is baffling me:Beautifully patterned carapace. Note how smooth it is in comparison to the gnarly RES one.Any ideas on what this is? The park’s waters are used as a dumping ground by fools and idiots, as in the case of this never solved soft-shell I spotted last October.
Texas Tortoise (Gopherus berlandieri). Very fond of eating tender cactus fruit. I also found the skeleton of one of these elsewhere and pulled off a few of the scutes to get some detail.Nice to see Red-eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta) in their native region. Here’s a recent hatchling, about the size of dollar coin.Texas Spiny Softshell (Apalone spiniferus emoryi).This one was less than a foot long; they can get much bigger.
Tags: Brooklyn, Prospect Park, turtles
I spotted a snouty silhouette in the Lake the other day.It was a turtle of a type I’ve never seen before. The snout suggests some kind of softshell, although the shell doesn’t look so typical for those turtles. I queried Twitter and there were suggestions it’s in the Apolone genus, creatures that live in our South and Midwest. In which case, it would be another victim of the PPT (Pernicious Pet Trade) and the irresponsible consumer who dumped it here. Another suggestion was that it’s the Chinese softshell, P. sinesis, perhaps originating in a Chinatown fish market. But the eyes seem like they are in the wrong place for that. So it remains a mystery… your Testudinal expertise is welcome. The length of this critter is 6-7″. Softshells get their name from their shells, which are unlike the hard bony cases of the turtles we’re more familiar with up here. The face, with its pyramidal snout, is obviously different, too. And on this specimen, the claws are almost fully webbed so that they look more like paddles than feet.
Tags: Brooklyn, Prospect Park, reptiles, turtles
Tags: Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge Park, dragonflies, turtles
Well, probably not, as this is the turtle’s back leg and the reptile may not even be aware of the Pondhawk’s presence. And while Pondhawks are certainly serious contenders in their weight class….
A Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) in the freshwater gardens on Pier One. There were two last year. Did this one survive the damage done by Sandy or is it yet another illegal introduction? A species of the Southeast, RES fill our fresh waters because of the pet trade, irresponsible pet owners, and an unfortunate Buddhist ritual of releasing turtles for good luck and whatnot. Here’s more detail about that, and about getting a Chinatown temple not to dump turtles to sure death in the East River.
A baby Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) has the unfortunate characteristic of blending in quite well with a road. South Cross Road, in Bradford, Mass., to be exact. While in the area last week, I saw several Painted turtles and a few others I could not identify who didn’t make it across that road and other death strips. This little one, though, had a helper… your friendly blogger.Remember, if helping a turtle across a road, move it in the direction it is heading. Given several decades of staying off the roads and out of a Great Blue Heron’s gullet, this guy might become one of the giants.Snappers have small plastrons, or bottom shells, compared to our other turtles. What they lack in protective defense, then, they make up with strong jaws at the end of a long neck (note that species name serpentina, like a snake) as well as sharp claws.
And check out the tiny freshwater clam hitching a ride there at the shoulder. There’s never a malacologist around when I need one.