Posts Tagged With: turtles

REPTILIAN TUESDAY # 54

REPTILIAN TUESDAY #54

It’s that wondrous day of the week, where we go on an adventure to meet a reptile and today we are off to the marshes of North America to find one colorful turtle! Apparently they like painting! Hahahaha!

e & e wetlands

MEET THE PAINTED TURTLE!

painted turtle   Range/Habitat: North America/lakes, rivers, ponds

   Diet: Omnivores: bugs, plants

   Length: 6-10”

   Conservation Status: common

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Painted turtles are freshwater turtles.
  • They have a flat, smooth carapace (top shell).
  • Painted turtles have yellow stripes on their necks and orange coloration on their bottom shells.
  • Painted turtles bask in the sun in groups.
  • They sleep on the bottom of the river at night.
  • In colder climates Painted turtles hibernate during the winter.

Painted turtles are so gorgeous. They are great additions to any watery habitat! We love to count turtles piled on logs and rocks in the summertime! How about you?

painted turtle2     painted turtle3

 

 

 

Categories: adventure, american, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, reptiles, rivers, science, turtles, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

REPTILIAN TUESDAY # 37

REPTILIAN TUESDAY # 37

We’re staying in the North American woods today to find a little reptile who lives in ponds! Grab your bug spray and your waders because we’re off to find this great reptile!

MEET THE WOOD TURTLE!

   Range/Habitat: Southeast Canada-Northern United States/ponds, woods,

streams

   Diet: Omnivore: worms, slugs, leaves, insects

   Length: 5 ½-7 ½”

   Conservation Status: endangered

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Wood turtles are diurnal (active during the day).
  • They are excellent climbers.
  • Wood turtles have pyramid shaped scutes.
  • Wood turtles have perfect coloration to camouflage in their habitat.
  • They hibernate in rivers in winter.
  • Wood turtles are intelligent and have excellent homing skills (finding their way back to their habitat).
  • They can live up to 40 years.

Wood turtles are really amazing turtles. Scientists have even tested these turtles in mazes and they do as well as rats! Pretty cool! They are endangered though, primarily due to habitat loss and taking the turtles from the wild. Turtles can make great pets, but it is very important that if you get a turtle, you get them from reputable breeder and not the wild!

 

  

 

 

Categories: Animals, backyard, Children, education, Environment, nature, reptiles, rivers, science, turtles, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

WORLD TURTLE DAY!!

WORLD TURTLE DAY!

Happy World Turtle Day! We’re celebrating our favorite reptilian four legged friends! Turtles, tortoises and terrapins come in all shapes and sizes! We’ve met all kinds of turtles including a Leatherback Sea turtle who was laying her eggs and a Green sea turtle while snorkeling! Turtles and tortoises are just fantastic!

They all have shells that are part of their skeletons! In fact if you could look inside a turtle’s shell you would see their spinal vertebrates and rib cage!

The difference between turtles, tortoises and terrapins mainly is their habitat. Generally turtles spend their lives in water or near water and tortoises live on land. Terrapins also live near water, but prefer brackish habitats (water that is a mix of fresh and salt). Turtles generally have webbed feet and tortoises have flat stumpy feet.

The individual plates on a turtles shell are called scutes! These are made of keratin, the same protein that makes up your hair and nails!

Turtles and tortoises live all over the world except in the Arctic and Antarctic. They even live in the world’s oceans! Turtles and tortoises are also kept as pets. They can be wonderful additions to one’s home, but they do require special housing and food. It is very very important that you do your homework before getting a turtle. Make sure you get them from a reputable breeder.  Releasing your pet into the wild because they get too big or they seem boring is bad for the turtle and the natural habitat.

So let’s celebrate turtles with some great pictures! You can also check out our posts that featured turtles and tortoises including the Hawksbill Sea Turtle, African Helmeted Turtle, Twist Necked Turtles, African Spur-Thighed Tortoise, Indian Star Tortoise and the Red Footed Tortoise.

Many species of turtles or tortoises are threatened or endangered, especially our sea turtle friends. You can help them by picking up your trash (often sea turtles mistake plastic bags for jellies). You can also provide a good back yard habitat for wild turtles. If you see a turtle crossing the road, remember to put them on the side they were heading too. Remember if you find a turtle in your yard, leave it there. Turtles are fun to watch, but wild ones do not make good pets. Check out a great organization that is working hard to save sea turtles  The Sea Turtle Conservancy!


     

      

      

Categories: Animals, backyard, Children, education, Environment, nature, oceans, reptiles, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Our road trip to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center

We recently went on a road trip to the coast of Georgia to meet sea turtles.  We were so excited to go to Jekyll Island and to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, where they work very hard to help injured and sick sea turtles. They also do a great job of educating people (and elephants and horses) about sea turtles and how we can help protect them.

We started off the day riding around Jekyll on bikes. Ok, we were in a bag on the back of a bike, but riding no less.  We love seeing the ocean and coastal waters of our home state!

Here we are in front of the water on Jekyll Island

As we watched the water we saw a few dolphins swim by us! That was awesome! Unfortunately they were too fast to get pictures.

After riding around and seeing all the big beautiful houses that are part of the Jekyll Island Club, we made it to the Sea Turtle Center.

Georgia Sea Turtle Center

As we entered the center, we were so excited to meet some sea turtles. Little did we know that they had such a great exhibit room with loads of information! We first spotted this funny fish in an aquarium.

Fish in aquarium!

We aren’t sure what kind of fish it is, but we love his googly eyes! Do any of you have any idea what kind of fish he is?

Right next to that fish’s aquarium was a giant window that looked into the turtle hospital exam room.  It was great to be able to see an actual an exam being done on a Green sea turtle.  The center also had a nice lady sitting there to answer any questions we had.

Sea Turtle Center exam and surgery room

If you look closely you’ll see that they were doing an exam on a Green sea turtle. The sign also says the turtle was getting a shell cleaning. Sea turtles often have a problem with excessive barnacles growing on their shell (also called the carapace). This can slow the turtle down so it is important to clean them off their shells.

Staff giving the exam

Green Sea Turtle during his exam. It was good to see the vet staff working so hard to make sure this turtle gets the best care they can give it.

The center has so much great information! This picture shows one of the informational stations!

Information on sea turtle survival

It told us all about the threats to sea turtles, including trash.  Did you know that sea turtles and other marine animals mistake people’s trash for food?  LOne of the sea turtle’s favorite prey is jellyfish.  If they come across plastic grocery bags in the water they mistake them for jellies and eat the bag.  Obviously plastic bags are not food! They also get fish hooks caught in their mouths and throats! Both plastic bags and fish hooks are something we can prevent the turtles from eating by disposing of them properly.

Info on how to help sea turtles

You can even adopt a sea turtle at the center! No silly you can’t bring it home and put it in your bathtub, but giving to the center helps them take care of the turtles!

Did you know that there are 7 species of sea turtles? They are Loggerhead, Green, Leatherback, Hawksbill, Kemp’s Ridley, Olive Ridley and Flatback. The center has replicas of each one hanging from the ceiling and cool information about each one below them!

Sea Turtle replicas

More sea turtles

Do you know which species is the biggest? If you said Leatherback, you’re right! We met a Leatherback  laying her eggs in Indonesia once- it was AWESOME!

Here we are learning fun facts about Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles

Not only could you view a sea turtle getting an exam, but they had a very small turtle at the center. Her name was Kathy.

Young sea turtle Kathy.

The Center and other researchers from the Georgia coast record how many sea turtle nests are laid each year. Did you know that sea turtles come back to the same shore where they hatched to lay their eggs when they are adults?  As of late August there were almost 2000 nests in Georgia! Wow that is a bunch of baby turtles (also called hatchlings).  Did you know there are numerous volunteers and workers who protect and check on the nests during nesting season?We love people who help wildlife.

Sign showing how many nests there are in Georgia

We went outside the main center to the hospital where sick and injured turtles are cared for and housed.

Here we are outside the Sea Turtle Hospital! Be very quiet!

We also discovered that the center has a few other turtles, including box turtles and terrapins.

Box turtles in a yard next to the hospital

A very teeny tiny terapin! It was only about the size of a half dollar!

The sea turtles in the hospital had all kinds of injuries and illnesses.  We took a few pictures in the hospital, but we wanted to be extra quiet for the patients.

Karen the sea turtle in her tank

Each turtle has a sheet that explains their illness and treatment. Humbolt had eaten a hook 😦

The turtles have to be kept in smaller tubs to keep them from swimming too much. They need their rest; just like you do when you’re not feeling well.  Here’s a list of some of their current patients, http://www.georgiaseaturtlecenter.org/our-patients/sea-turtle-patients/current-patients/.

As we exited the Center we looked up in the gift shop and saw an enormous turtle hanging above us! Imagine our surprise! It was a replica of an ancient sea turtle from the Crustaceous period. This turtle swam in the oceans around 74 million years ago.  It was called Archelon ischyros. This turtle was 7 feet long and weighed around 11,300 lbs! That is one big turtle! Anyone have a truckload of jellies handy?

Archelon ischyros hanging in the gift shop

The skull of the giant sea turtle! My what a big beak you have!

Info on the giant sea turtle! This fossil was found in South Dakota! WOW!

We had the best day at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center! We hope everyone makes a trip to visit this very special place! Say hi to the turtles for us if you go! As we left we decided to take a few fun shots!

The center has turtle stepping stones! FUN!

A sea turtle made out of bricks at the entrance!We look very little :)!

Categories: Animals, Atlanta, Children, education, Environment, fish, Local, reptiles | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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