Thursday, March 5, 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dog Vadar Goes Tortoise!

Trying to get in on the action...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Like Bumps on a Log

Or lumps on their back...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Saturday, February 7, 2015

My Cousin: The Argentine Side Necked Turtle

Hello, handsome!

The Argentine Side Necked turtle (aka the Spot-Bellied turtle), are popularly known is one of the most spectacular species of turtles. The Argentine Side Necks are mostly found in the Amazon region of Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina in South America. These are large turtles growing up to 16 inches.

The male of the species is smaller and can grow up to 12-13 inches. It has a characteristic black stripe extending on both sides from the nostrils, across the eyes to the neck. Another pair of black stripes is usually present on its throat. It has a yellow-orange plastron with black spots. The patterns of dots on each turtle are like fingerprints. These spots give the Argentine Side Necked Turtle its Uruguayan name “Tortuga de vientre manchado” or the Spot-Bellied turtle. The carapace of the Phrynops Hilarii is non-serrated and oval. The color of the carapace varies from olive to dark brown and grey. Another characteristic feature of this species is the barbels hanging under the jaw. There are a few turtles that have a smile as charming as the Argentine Side Necked Turtle.

Native of the water bodies of the amazon forests that are abundant with aquatic vegetation especially, reeds, water lettuce, lentils and water lilies. It is essential to design an aquarium that best resembles its natural habitat. The Argentine Side Necked turtles are not very active and prefer to bask a lot. However these are excellent swimmers and need larger and deeper aquariums than many other turtles. You might fix caves as hiding places and standing decors. Watching the turtles swim through these is quite a sight.

The Argentine Side Necked Turtles are essentially carnivores and feed on small fishes, tadpoles, crustaceans, mollusks, aquatic insects, crickets and worms. They are excellent predators and can be fed live meat. In captivity you can feed them assorted worms, Cichlid Sticks, Mazuri and ReptoMin, pre-killed small fish, earthworms, snails or balls of meat ground with supplements such as calcium, protein and vitamins.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Missing Warm, Deck Days

Looking forward to spring when I can lounge on the deck again...

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Cousin: The Fly River Turtle

The Fly River Turtle (or pig-nosed turtle) is unlike any other species of freshwater turtle. The feet are flippers, resembling those of marine turtles. The nose looks like that of a pig, having the nostrils at the end of a fleshy snout, hence the common name. The carapace is typically grey or olive, with a leathery texture, while the plastron is cream-coloured. Males can be distinguished from females by their longer and narrower tails. Pig-nosed turtles can grow to about 28 inch shell-length, with a weight of over 44 lbs.

In captivity, unlike the soft shelled turtles of the family Trionychidae, pig-nosed turtles retain a domed bony carapace beneath their leathery skin, rather than a flat plate. They also retain a solid plastron, connected to the carapace by a strong bony bridge, rather than the soft margin of the trionychids.

Pig-nosed turtles are not completely aquatic. Little is known about general behaviour, as there have been few studies in the wild. Their known extreme aggression in captivity suggests the species is markedly more territorial than most other turtles and tortoises. They seem to display a degree of social structure during the cooler dry season around the hydrothermal vents that line some river systems they inhabit.

The species is omnivorous, eating a wide variety of plant and animal matter, including the fruit and leaves of figs, as well as crustaceans, molluscs and insects. The turtle is native to freshwater streams, lagoons and rivers of the Northern Territory of Australia, as well as to the island of New Guinea, where it is believed to occur in all the larger, and some smaller, southward-flowing rivers.

The species experienced a population decline of more than 50% in the thirty years between 1981 and 2011. Although the turtles are protected in Indonesia under Law No. 5/1990 on Natural Resources and Ecosystems Conservation, smuggling occurs. Some 11,000 turtles captured from smugglers were released into their habitats in the Wania River, Papua Province, Indonesia, on 30 December 2010. 687 pig-nosed turtles were seized at an Indonesian airport in March 2013. They were reportedly destined for Hong Kong.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Baby on Board!

- borrowed from Most Amazing Planet blog -

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Most Annoying Turtle on the Planet

May your annoyances be lessened in the New Year!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Free Willy!

Thanks to the Cape May Coast Guard, this big fella was entangled and set free to live another 80 years or so....

A happy New Year to everyone who survived 2014!