Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Peter left a comment about the last post so I had to look at those two photos again.

I want to identify this one as a box turtle on a big stone sticking out of the ground.

See the high dome of the plastron and the ridges on either side of where the turtles head should be?

It looks like this "grandfather" that I think is beyond a doubt a box turtle, with what other people call "the sunbursts" and I refer to as beaver prints. The Estabrook Turtle is more antomically correct, the "serrated marginal scutes" look just like photos of actual box turtles...

Dan's photo shows a "closer to the ground stone" below and a smoother shaped "low dome" stone carapace that makes me think "terrapin" or "snapper."

Or a "slider," which by coincidence is my nickname at this pizza joint my band plays at because I play slide guitar.

Some stone work might be considered crude, but often there is high degree of detail in lots of it. I'm thinking of those photos of mounds where I think I see long necks and legs that make me think "snapping turtle."

I know of a couple of stone turtles that have definate spots all over them, cyrstals of quartz and even garnet. I wonder what kind of turtle those could be...

Getting Turtle Specific, I googled “turtle identification” this morning, got a bunch of results, and include them here, with the thought in mind that stone effigies of turtles would most likely have similar characteristics.
What Kind of Turtle Do I Have?
Copyright by Valerie Haecky (who writes:) "This document may be freely distributed for non-profit use, provided this notice is included."
"People often ask, what species of turtle they have, or even, whetherthey have a water or box turtle. The following guide is a quick way fordetermining some common types of turtles. It is essential for you tofind out what kind of turtle you have, since each type of turtle hasdifferent requirements. The following are two books that I use myself: "The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians" by Bebler and King. ISBN 0-394-50824-6 "Turtles of the World" by C. H. Ernst and R. W. Barbour. ISBN 1-56098-212-8...

5. If your land turtle has a high, domed shell, it is probably a box turtle.

6. If your turtle has a flat, unkeeled carapace with yellow, black, and possibly orange or red markings, it is a Chrysemys species. This includes cooters, sliders, and painted turtles.

7. If your turtle is yellow/black with red or orange markings on its cheeks, it is a red-eared slider turtle. If there are red crescents on the marginal scutes, and red and yellow stripes on the legs, it is a painted turtle.

8. If your turtle has a brown or black carapace with 3 ridges, and the skin is olive or black, you might have a Reeves turtle.

9. If your turtle has lots of yellow spots on the carapace, it is a spotted turtle...

11. If your turtle has the following properties, it is one of several types of snapping turtle:

* Clawed front feet/webbed back feet

* Small plastron, it looks like the turtle is wearing a shell that is too little for it when looked at from below

* Large head, long tail, and long neck for the size of the shell

* Usually dark/black carapace

* Hooked jaws..."

At http://www.torontozoo.com/adoptapond/Turtles.asp I added a few new words to my turtle vocabulary:
1. Scutes
2. Longitudinal keel
3. Serrated marginal scute
(as marked on the above image I'm pasting in from their website).

And here’s a long list of names with links to all sorts of stuff from CNAH – the Center for North American Hereptology: http://www.naherpetology.org/nameslist.asp?id=7

1 comment:

  1. About quartz on a turtle's back. I often wondered about this because it seems like a common, if not required, feature on turtle structure I see. So I was asking myself: What is on the turtle's back? I think an answer is found in the Indian creation story: all the souls of all the creatures of the world are on the turtle's back.