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A Turtle Visitor: April O’Neil!

I was pleasantly sleeping this morning when Ryan bursts into my room, saying “Joe, there’s something outside you want to see!” I go outside and what to find, there’s a large turtle walking around! I went outside and brought it in, figuring I’d let it sit in some water (there isn’t any standing water around outside) and give it a meal.

As best as I could tell at first glance, the front claws were short which is the quickest way to tell it’s a female. Later on in some online reading I discovered that in some species of turtles a cocave belly means male while a flat belly (Ok, since someone who knows something about turtles may read this, the plastron is the proper name for the bottom of the shell) so it may have been a male. Either way, seeing as how the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie came out today, I figured I should name it April O’Neil and designate it a girl. I’ve been having some trouble identifying the species, but I think it’s an “Eastern Box Turtle.” Here’s another picture here.

April Pic 1
Here’s a view of the side of my friend here, from the side before she was confortable enough to come out of her shell.
April Pic 2
April, looking around. This is a good shot to see some major charachistics: smooth shell (as opposed to rough or bumpy), orange spots on dark background, orange belly, orange spots on the leg scales, and orange pattern around the beak and on the top of the leg. Also, the plastron has a lot of orange on it.
April Pic 3
A paper towel roll, for a size comparison.
April Pic 4
Here’s the short front claws, I wanted a closeup to see why I thought she was female. Maybe the claw trick only works in map turtles?
April Pic 5
More claw.
April Pic 6
The top of the shell, she was much more comfortable in the dark for a while so I let her be that way.
April Pic 7
The bottom of the shell, notice the distinctive pattern and the large concave area in the center. Also important to note, the front and back of the plastron bend up so that when the turtle wants, the shell is completely closed and the turtle is completely protected. It’s important to note Baron’s shell can’t close, at his most in his whole front and back have nice squishy Baron parts exposed.
April Pic 8
Some food. Initially she was crabby about it.
April Pic 9
Notice the growth patter, theoretically we could calculate the age but I doubt it.
April Pic 10
Here’s Baron around April, they really weren’t too interested in each other.
April Pic 11
More food.
April Pic 12
She walked around for a while, look at that funny little tail!
April Pic 13
Some more explorin, she was seein what was under the table.
April Pic 14
I took one goodbye photo before letting her go, she had pretty brown eyes!

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