Thursday, July 2, 2015

Feeding Time

For the big boys...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ready. Steady. Go!

(what a handsome devil!)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Saturday, June 6, 2015

My Cousin: The Ringed Map Turtle

The Ringed Map Turtle is found in the Pearl River and its tributaries in Mississippi and Louisiana.  The Pearl River is a large river that can have very swift currents when the water is high.

This is a small to medium size turtle. Males are about 3.5 to 4.5 inches as adults and females are about 5 to 7.5 inches long.  This turtle is part of the narrow head group of map turtles and therefore is mostly an insect eater, but they are also opportunistic so crustaceans and fish could also be eaten.  It has the typical map turtle central keel that is exaggerated as a hatchling and slowly wears down with age, especially old females. However, of all the map turtle species, this group (the sawback group) has the highest central keel. It also has a small plastral pattern that consists of a few horizontal lines.

Like the other sawbacks, the Ringed Map inhabits a sandy, mud bottomed river.  It is associated with brush piles (trees that have died and fell into the river). It spends much of the day basking on these fallen trees and quickly jumps into the water when approached. They seek refuge on the bottom of the river and in between the branches of the falling trees.

This species is endangered in the state of Mississippi, and federally threatened

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

Longtime Companions

Both a gal and her pet all grown up!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

If you mother is still alive, go have a walk with her today.

My mama has a long road to haul beginning today!
Good luck out there, Mama!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

My Cousin: The Green Sea Turtle

The Green Sea Turtle is one of the two species of sea turtles usually seen in the El Nido province of the Phillipines (the hawksbill sea turtle is the other). It gets its name from the green color of its body fat – the body fat is green because it feeds on seagrass and seaweed as an adult. The green sea turtle is the only herbivorous sea turtle in adulthood. When diving, a green sea turtle can stay underwater for as long as 5 hours because its heart beats only once every nine minutes.

Adult green sea turtles can weigh between 135-160 kg and measure 1 meter long along the carapace (the top shell). If you spot a sea turtle while snorkeling or diving, you can tell it’s a green sea turtle based on it’s carapace: it’s smooth, oval-shaped, and brown or yellow-greenish in color. If you’re close enough to take a look at the head, a green sea turtle has a pair of prefrontal scales (scales on the top of the head before the eyes).

Female green sea turtles return to the beach where they hatched to lay their own eggs. They mature at 20-50 years old and return to their natal beaches every 2-4 years to lay their eggs. The eggs hatch after 60 days, with the hatchlings heading out to the open ocean where they hide and feed in floating seaweeds for several years. Once they reach a certain age or size range, they move to the coastal areas and start feeding on seagrass and seaweed. Because of their diet, green sea turtles generally stay in shallow, sheltered areas in reefs, bays, and inlets. Green sea turtles are distributed worldwide in tropical and subtropical coastal waters (between 30° North and 30° South).

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

No Papparazzi, Please

(IE browsers don't seem to display this paparazzi-attacking gif)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Cousin: The Marginated Tortoise

The Marginated Tortoise is a unique looking tortoise because of its extremely flared marginal scutes from which it gets its name. The males’ marginal scutes are usually much more flared than on the female, appearing as a "brim" of sorts.

Wild caught specimens of this tortoise used to be a commonly imported tortoise but is now not imported at all as wild caught tortoises because it is protected throughout its range. Because of successful breeding in captivity it is now becoming more commonly available as captive born tortoises.

The Marginated Tortoise grows from 8 to 12 lbs and can live more than 20 years. They are found in the hilly and mountainous areas of the Southern Balkan Peninsula and Greece.

Marginated tortoises are very cold tolerant and should be maintained at a temperature range of 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit at the basking site. If temperatures fall below this they will be inclined to hibernate which they do in the wild when the seasons dictate it.

These tortoises are opportunistic feeders in that they will take the usual dark leafy greens, weeds and some grasses. They are not known to be very active grazers. Marginateds are also known to consume insects, snails and carrion. In captivity they can be fed dark leafy greens, fibrous fruits such as pears and apples in addition to various berries. The main idea is to feed as varied as possible. Clean fresh water in a water dish should be provided at all times.

One important note on breeding is that the marginated tortoise is one of the most aggressive tortoises when it comes to breeding. Aggressive ramming towards the female can be so severe that female marginateds have been killed in the process.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Saturday, April 25, 2015