Monday, December 8, 2008

A GALLERY OF TURTLES (North America) pt. 3

I went and showcased my 10 favorite species of North American turtle for my friend Luka. Now, lets take a little time to look at some of my favorites that didn't make my "top 10"... in no particular order. (Man, this ended up being a long post! I guess I like turtles.)


Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata)

Up close and personal with Pond Turtles

Pond Turtles range from Northern Mexico to
Washington State. They used to be in SW
Canada, but are believed to be extirpated.

Pond Turtles are listed as a Vulnerable species
throughout their range.

Western Pond Turtle looking majestic

Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata), of the
Eastern states obviously cares, look at that

View of carapace and of the plastron

The juvenile Spotted Turtle

Florida Redbelly Turtle (Pseudemys nelsoni)

Redbellys are one of the basking turtles in the
family Emydidae.

When Boy Meets Spiny Softshell Turtle
(Apalone spiniferus)

The Spiny Softshell is a pancake, but do not
try to eat one out of the water.

Softshell sunning on the pavement

Scorpion Mud Turtle (Kinosternon scorpioides)

Scorpion Mud out for a stroll, Mexico

Razorback Musk Turtle (Sternotherus carinatus)

Don't judge the Razorback!

Razorbacks out for some snails and worms

Baby Razorback knows you see him.

The plastron of a juvenile Razorback, showing
the slightly hinged plastron

The Common Musk Turtle
(Sternotherus odoratus)

The Common Musk is also referred to as the
Stinkpot, because of the odorous musk
released when disturbed.

The Stinkpot isn't as aggressive when handled
as other Musk Turtles can be.

Female Ornate Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata)
found in the central states

The distinctive olive head and red eye of the
male Ornate Box

Three Toed Box Turtle (Terrapene triunguis)
the box turtle with the caramel shell, notice
that the hind feet have only 3 toes

3 Toed female at rest in the woodlands,
contemplating her next move

The yellow eye of the 3 Toed female

Baby 3 Toed Boxes are darker and more
patterned than most adults

A frisky young male 3 Toed with his colorful
face patterns

The feisty face of the Common Snapping Turtle
(Chelydra serpentina)

A Common Snapper's alligator like tail as it
searches for prey in the emergent vegetation

The Common Snapper (left) compared to the
Alligator Snapper (right), notice the more
hooked beak and 3 ridged shell of the Aligator

The Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)
chilling at a burrow entrance in Arizona

Desert Tortoises are herbivores

Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus ployphemus)
completes our trio of North American
tortoises, also Desert and Texas Tortoises
all in the genus Gopherus

A large female Gopher looking for food?

A young Gopher regards the photographer

A Gopher Tortoise in its burrow, many species
of animals depend on the trio of Gopherus for
their burrows as refuge (ie. frogs, snakes, rats etc.)

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