Thursday, October 20, 2011
Close to Nowhere
Boy or girl turtle?
Thanks to Wikipedia, I may have an explanation as to why youngest granddaughter Remy is finding (and bringing home) lots of box turtles.
And I quote: “Prior to hibernation, box turtles tend to move further into the woods, where they dig a chamber for overwintering.”
Since we live in the woods and Remy rambles all over those same woods, she’s finding the poor turtles that are just trying to find a bed before the coming cold.
Pop and I are pretty insistent that she release the turtles, because our house is where she wants them to live.
Really, why would you want to separate a turtle from its family? What if that turtle is a mom or dad? What about their children?
Remy is a sucker for all these questions and the turtle is always quickly taken back to where he/she/it was found and released.
She’s found a bunch of them this year and I can’t figure out why — is there some reason there are more turtles trying to hibernate this year? In our woods?
Remy has explained carefully to me (and her older sister agrees, so I’m guessing they’re right) how you can tell a girl turtle from a boy turtle.
Apparently — male turtles’ undersides are concave, while females are convex. (If it’s a boy, the tummy is in, if it’s a girl, the tummy is out.)
And, according to “WikiAnswers” the female will have brownish light colored eyes. The male will have reddish colored eyes.
Box turtles, male or female, are omnivores, as they will eat anything they can catch.
Another question I have is how can turtles catch anything? What’s slower than a turtle? Something sleeping? Although, along with worms, etc., cacti are popular with turtles.
Side note: I bought a lot of small cacti some years ago. I left them outside in their little pots during a rain storm and they all swelled up and burst! So all my woods have to offer turtles are worms and bugs.
Wikipedia also offers good advice about keeping box turtles as pets. The turtles are easily stressed by handling and can be injured by dogs and cats. (One reason Remy thinks they need to live at my house.)
Most turtles kept as pets die from stunted growth and immune system problems.
Box turtles are the official reptiles of four U.S. states: North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri and Kansas.
Oh, FYI — the state reptile of Mississippi is the American alligator! Remy better not bring one of those home!
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