Monday, December 28, 2009

Lost Turtle Photos Found

Chelydra serpentina

Our quest for snapping turtle photos and observations was rewarded last summer when Wingnut came home from Tannery Pond saying that there was a resident snapper just outside the swimming area. The kids were feeding it bait. I went down and tried to take photos. I did fairly well considering that I had never taken photos of a creature that was underwater before. And I did not use the polarizing filter that Amelia gave me (because I did not know how to use it until John taught me later in the summer). After downloading the photos to the computer that day, I never found them until tonight. I thought I had permanently lost them. It was quite a relief to find them! This was a small snapper. Next year? We'll try for one of the monster big ones!

NH Conservation Status: Not listed

State Rank Status: Widespread and secure.

Distribution: Throughout state, less common in northern New Hampshire.

Description:A large turtle measuring 8-14 inches and weighing up to 70 pounds. A rough carapace ranges in color form black to light brown. The head is large and the tail is long with a distinct saw-toothed edge.

Commonly Confused Species: Juveniles may be confused with musk turtles and wood turtles.

Habitat: Any permanent water body such as lakes, ponds, swamps, bogs, streams, and rivers, especially aquatic habitats with muddy bottoms and abundant submerged logs and aquatic vegetation. Use terrestrial habitats while searching for appropriate nesting sites and traveling among wetland habitats.

Life History: Lays 20-40 eggs in soil banks or sand and gravel piles in fields or lawns and may be several hundred feet or more from water. Hibernates in mud bottom or under logs or other submerged debris, sometimes communally.

Conservation Threats: Water pollution, road mortality, habitat loss.


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1 comment:

  1. Hope you counted your fingers and toes befor and after these images :)


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