Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Turtle Time

Now that summer is here, the turtles have made another appearance on the property. I found this shy, but handsome young man near our wooded area a few weeks ago. I wish I could have gotten a picture of his face and front legs; he was so pretty!

It's easy to tell the difference between male and female box turtles in a few ways: the males have very bright, orange-ish spots on their legs and face, as well as red eyes. The females are more muted and brown/yellow, with brown eyes.

Female on top, male on bottom
Photo from
If you flip them over, you will see that males also have an indentation or divot on their bottom shell. This helps them fit more easily against the top of the female turtle shell during mating. It's kinda hard to see here, but it's there:

This little guy also had quite an impressive notch taken out of the front of his shell - I wonder what happened to him at one point in his life? Small, identifying marks like this help me keep track of turtles that we find around here. So far, I don't think I've seen the same turtle twice. Cool beans!

Also, I have a new bumper sticker that I put on both of our vehicles...I think this says it all:


lynn cockrell said...

Those turtles are very pretty. My last experience with handling turtles this size was when I was a very young child. My dad brought home some Snapping Turtles from a fishing trip. He put them in a washtub in the back yard, though I don't know what for. I remember his warning for us kids not to put our fingers in the water or play with them. Like most children, I had to find out the reason, so I went straightaway and started fooling around with the turtles. I quickly learned the were called "Snapping Turtles" because they tend to latch on to human fingers. I seem to recall my dad having to cut the head off the one that was clinging to the tip of my finger! I really enjoyed your post!

Just the Right Size said...

Thank you Lynn; what a great story! Snapping turtles are NOT cute, LOL!

Mary said...

Love the stickers on your cars!

Just the Right Size said...

Thanks Mary! We save a lot of turtles while driving around.


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