Thursday, June 1, 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017

My Cousin: The Diamondback Terrapin

Can this guy get any more handsome? Look at his markings!




The diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) was once almost pushed to extinction due to a fashion among some members of American society for turtle meat, a trend that thankfully died out before this terrapin did.

The diamondback terrapin has an oblong upper shell (carapace) that is grey, light brown or black and patterned with concentric diamond-shapes. The shell on the underside of the terrapin (the plastron) can range in colour from yellowish to green or black, and may be decorated with bold, dark markings.

The grey or black skin of the limbs and head bears dark flecks and spots, the head is short and flat, and the prominent eyes are black. The large, webbed feet are adapted for swimming, but also bear strong claws that allow the terrapin to clamber up out of the water. Female diamondback terrapins are larger than the males, and have a broader head and shorter tail. Juveniles are patterned much like adults but usually brighter and have rounder shells.

The diamondback terrapin is native to the United States, where it occurs along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Cape Cod to Texas. The diamondback terrapin inhabits the brackish waters of coastal marshes, tidal flats, coves, estuaries and coastal lagoons.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

My Cousin: the Assam Roofed Turtle

This beautiful species is extremely endangered in Northeast India:
























The Assam Roofed turtle, also known as Sylhet roofed turtle, has a triangular and elevated carapace with a promient spiked keel and strongly serrated marginal plates. The carapace is olive-brown in color, with a lighter (yellowish to beige) keel. The head is small and has a weakly hooked upper jaw; a narrow pink stripe runs from the back of each eye to the middle of the back of the head. Adults normally grow to a maximum length of 8 in. (20.5cm).

This species live in the northeastern and southeastern parts of Bangladesh, India. It is found in terrestrial and freshwater habitats in areas with upland tropical moist forest, and fast-flowing streams and perhaps also small rivers.

The species is amphibian. In the cooler months of the dry season, from December to February, it basks during most of the day; individuals living in cooler hill-streams may do so year round. The turtle is shy and never basks on river banks, but only on emergent logs or rocks. At the slightest disturbance, it will dive quickly to the middle of the river, hiding between rocks. Juveniles often flee into accumulations of dead leaves for camouflage and remain motionless.

The Assam Roofed turtle is a rare species known only from a few individuals; it is exploited for its meat and eggs for local consumption and may also enter the pet trade. Habitat destruction by logging and incidental capture in fishing gear are also thought to present threats. The species is currently classified as Endangered (EN) by the IUCN.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Our Amazing Underwater World

Sent to Nat Geo by a fan:
An amazing National Geographic image

There seems to be two separate universes on this planet, and this one lies beneath.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Meet Tizzy

In support of "banning the bag" (plastic bags) on California beaches, University of California students have taken inflatable Tizzy on the road to promote eliminating beach pollution.

Read more about UC's anti-pollution program here

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Turtle Foundation

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Visit the Turtle Foundation website
The Turtle Foundation was founded by a small group of dedicated private individuals with the common aim of preventing endangered sea turtles from becoming extinct.

We are an international charitable organization. We are a dedicated volunteer effort and currently are operating our own important protection projects in Cape Verde and in Indonesia.

OUR VISION: A future where sea turtles and their habitats are sustainably protected, healthy, and safe from threat of extinction and destruction.

OUR MISSION: To contribute to sea turtle conservation at our own project sites by cooperating with local communities to create a future where both sea turtles and people can thrive.

The Turtle Foundation is represented in the United States, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Cape Verde. In all these countries, the Turtle Foundation is a tax exempt and non-profit organization. Donations to Turtle Foundation are tax deductible in accordance with the law of the country concerned.