Monday, July 02, 2007

Tiny Turtle

My son found him in the back yard this morning. The shell is 36mm wide and 40mm long. He gets to stay with the understanding that my son keeps a journal and does most of the maintenance work involving the turtle - that means he'll have to do some serious reading on the subject.

The last turtle we found was about half this size. We kept that one healthy until he got too big for the 10 gallon aquarium where he spent most of his time. He was about 4x6" at that point. A friend invited us to release him on his many acres of land, which included a strawberry patch and a pond. In a couple of years, this one may get to join him.

One thing we learned about turtles the last pass is that they absolutely love ant larvae. No shortage of those around here.


Homeschool Help Web said...

Just don't forget about the reptile/salmonella link!

Very, very cute. :-)

chris and vic said...

I am an old-timer who remembers when painted turtles this size were for sale as pets, next to goldfish, in every five-and-dime. I had many turtles like this one, as a child in Chicago, in an apt. where no other kind of pet was permitted.

Some years later, the turtles were taken out of the dime stores because of health risks---my understanding at the time was that they carried diseases . . . a child's understanding.

I now live in a semi-rural area, and at this time of year, I stop my car on a regular basis to escort larger varieties of these painted turtles across the road to a wet spot (marsh or pond), which is where they seem to be headed when they are attempting to cross the road without a crossing guard.

We used to feed the turtles crumbs of hamburger meat . . . uncooked. They also liked lettuce. Bugs were harder to come by, in my 4th-floor walk-up in Chicago. (Ahhh, you've brought back memories!)
Chris and Vic

Judy said...

We used to have painted sliders as pets when I was little too. We knew so little about them that they nearly always died within weeks. It was really a shame.

Land turtles, like this one, aren't nearly as much of a health risk, and my youngest will be 12 soon, so he understands about germs and handwashing.

I've escorted many a larger turtle across the road and more than a few all the way to my wooded back yard - probably the reason we find these little turtles from time to time.

Anonymous said...

Hi Judy,

Cute little guy ! Tell your son, he will be this little chelonia's hero if he finds some nice fat worms. They love them, though worms and fruit should be a treat - no more than 15 percent of his diet. Best 'daily' food is Romaine lettuce - never feed iceberg lettuce - it has no nutritional value what so ever ... if he ever wants to ask a question tell him to send an email my way - we have 250 turtles from all over the world, Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and the US - plus an assortment of tortoises too.

As for the old myth about salmonella - that was largely due to horrific importing practices that have mostly been stopped in the past 20 years because of CITES. They are very nice pets, and those that have not been imported in bad conditions have almost no chance of transmitting disease.