Monday, December 22, 2014

Getting Around

... with attitude.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Knitting for Turtles!

Who knew?! Possibly the best craft for turtle lovers and tortured turtles around the globe - and now costumes are available for sale on etsy!!

Visit the Turtle Knitter's website for more creations!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Cousin: The Madagascar Big-Headed Turtle

The Madagascan Big-Headed turtle (Erymnochelys madagascariensis) is a turtle native to the waters of permanent slow moving rivers and lakes in western Madagascar. These turtles, although they are critically endangered (the 13th most endangered turtle, according to the top 25 most endangered turtles list, they are commonly eaten for food but they are still commonly shipped from Madagascar to Asia to help meet the demand of Asia's traditional medicine market.

A captive breeding program has also been started to prevent the species from becoming extinct. The Madagascan big-headed turtle is one of the most endangered turtles in the world, and is also included in the Turtle Conservation Funds (TFC) top 25 endangered.
It has a hard dark brown shell enclosing all the soft parts of the body and as its name says it, a really large head. Young turtles have a soft pattern of fine black lines on their shells, but they disappear with age.
These species inhabit large areas with freshwater such as permanent slow streaming rivers, backwaters and lakes. Many of the hatching and juvenile turtles move into smaller rivers, where they can grow quickly and safely before going into deeper and larger bodies of water.

The main threat for this species is that they heavily exploited for food, caught in nets, fish traps and by hooks and lines. It is also hunted for illegal export to Asia for the traditional medicinal market. Another threat is the land development as it destroys its natural habitat.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Protect the Sea Turtle

More than half of all species of turtles are endangered. Protecting sea turtles is not only an act of compassion; it reinforces a necessary link in the fragile chain of our earth's ecosystem. And when humankind is in harmony with the "world of the sea turtle" and the ocean at large, the benefits are far reaching-we are all connected.

Visit the Sailors for the Sea website to learn more.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Turtle in Tortoise!

Happy Birthday to Joey!

Strange things do happen, even in our turtle/tortoise world. This tortoise Lola somehow managed to eat a pendant of a sea turtle.

Read and view the story - with xrays - here.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving Thanks

Hank gives thanks to Turtle Mama for many good years of care and treats

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Little Fish Big Pond

Considering getting a turtle as a pet? There are things you should know. First read this.

PetSmart also has a guide to help you learn about turtles as pets

Friday, November 21, 2014

Alligator Snapper Goes for It!

(learning a lesson the hard way?)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

13 FUN Facts About Turtles & Tortoise

1. A tortoise is a turtle, but a turtle isn't a tortoise.
A turtle is any shelled reptile belonging to the order Chelonii. The term "tortoise" is more specific, referring to terrestrial turtles. (Of course, there's always an exception. In this case, the land-dwelling box turtle.) Tortoises are usually herbivorous and can't swim.
One easy way to tell 'em apart: look at their feet and shells. Water turtles have flippers or webbed feet with long claws, and their shells are flatter and more streamlined. Tortoises have stubby, elephant-like feet and heavier, domed shells.

2. A group of tortoises is called a creep.
But you won't see a creep very often. (Not that kind, anyway.) Tortoises are solitary roamers. Some mother tortoises are protective of their nests, but they don't care for their young after they hatch.

3. Tortoises inspired the ancient Roman military.
During seiges, soldiers would get in testudo formation, named after the Latin word for tortoise. The men formed rows and held shields in front or above them to completely shelter the unit.

4. "Testudinal" means "pertaining to or resembling a tortoise or tortoise shell."
Go ahead. Compliment your friend's testudinal sunglasses.

5. Tortoises have an exoskeleton AND an endoskeleton.
The shell has three main parts: the top carapace, the bottom plastron, and the bridge that fuses these pieces together. You can't see them, but every tortoise has ribs, a collar bone, and a spine inside its shell.

6. The scales on the carapace are called scutes.
Made of the same keratin found in fingernails and hooves, scutes protect the bony plates of the shell from injury and infection. The growth rings around scutes can be counted to determine the approximate age of wild tortoises.

7. The lighter the shell, the warmer the origin.
Tortoises from hot places tend to have lighter-colored shells than tortoises from cooler areas. The light tan sulcata originates from the southern part of the Sahara Desert.

8. They can't swim, but tortoises can hold their breath for a long time.
They're extremely tolerant of carbon dioxide. It's a good thing—tortoises have to empty their lungs before they can go into their shells. You'll often hear them exhale when they're startled and decide to hide.

9. And yes, their shells are sensitive to touch.
Shells have nerve endings, so tortoises can feel every rub, pet, or scratch ... and sometimes they love it. Note: This delightful creature is a turtle, not a tortoise.

10. Sulcatas are one of the most popular pet tortoises—and one of the biggest.
Get ready to move to the suburbs and amend your will. Sulcatas are the third largest tortoise species in the world, behind the Galapagos and Aldabra giant tortoise. They can live more than 100 years and weigh up to 200 pounds.

11. Charles Darwin and Steve Irwin cared for the same tortoise, a Galapagos gal named Harriet.
Darwin is said to have collected and named Harriet back in 1835. She was sent to England and eventually wound up at Australia Zoo, founded by Steve Irwin's parents. She finally passed on in 2006, the same year as the Crocodile Hunter's fatal encounter with a stingray.

12. They're the ultimate conservationists.
Tortoises can extract water and nutrients from even the most paltry bites. Their hindgut system works like a double digestive tract, separating water from their waste. When water's scarce, they'll hang on to water waste and simply excrete the urates, which look like white toothpaste.

13. They can smell with their throats.
Like other reptiles, tortoises detect the faintest of smells with the vomeronasal organ, or Jacobson's Organ, on the roof of their mouths. Instead of flicking their tongues, they pump their throats to circulate air through the nose and around the mouth.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Girl Turtle or Boy Turtle - How to Tell

It's a boy, err, uhh... You won't be able to tell a tortoise's sex until it reaches a certain size, which varies by breed. The most obvious tell is the plastron—for mating purposes, it's flatter on females and curved on males. Males also tend to be larger and have longer tails.

If you're a tortoise owner who prefers surprises, just wait for your pet to come out of his or her shell. Males will eventually display their private parts while soaking. And it's not uncommon for females to lay eggs, even without a mate to fertilize them.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

No Place Sacred

Is there no place on this property that I can have some peace and quiet? I mean, really. Season is just over and there's no place to hide. #winterdepression

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

How to Ninja

If you are going to ninja, you should do it right!
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014