Saturday, April 13, 2013

How many turtles?

After being scared off from an area of a pond, I followed this Blue Heron to where he landed. I quietly watched for awhile and, after awhile, I realized it was not a log in front of him but a line of turtles basking in the sun.

Amazed by the number and sensing there'd be more, I scanned the water behind him and found another line.

Here's a full view of the area that includes the turtles behind the Blue Heron, the turtles in front of him and more in the foreground.

How many turtles do you see?

I observed at least seventy that day.

They are Yellow-bellied sliders and the most common turtle found in the Southeastern United States.

I learned they need to bask in the sun so the bottom of the shell (the plastron) can dry reducing the chances of shell rot. At night, the turtles return to the water to sleep.

So the wise old turtle is both aquatic and terrestrial needing both the land and the water to survive.

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