Road Kill? Not This Time Turtle

Road Kill? Not This Time Turtle

May 28, 2011
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Last Friday we walked to the McKenzie Marsh. It was late in the afternoon, but still sunny and bright. When we got closer to the boardwalk we spotted a turtle heading for the road. This is a second time I am seeing a turtle trying to cross the road, or St. John’s sideroad.

It was a red-eared slider. There are many of them in our pond and sometimes when you look over the railing down on the tree roots you can see a line of them basking on the sun.

Red-Eared Slider, McKenzie Marsh, Town of Aurora

Well, I wasn’t ready too see casualty that night, so I picked him up and carried over back to the pond. If he was on the mission, his mission ended back home. ‘Too bad turtle, may be you hate your parents or your pond, but I tell you it is better than being a road kill‘. The very first turtle I saved was a baby snapping turtle.

Since I used to have the red-slider turtle as a pet, I thought I save you a trip to the wiki and list few interesting facts about him.

Facts About Red-Eared Slider Turtle

A meaningful name. Red-eared sliders get their name from the distinctive red mark around their ears. The “slider” part of their name comes from their ability to slide off rocks and logs and into the water quickly.

Aha. Contrary to the popular misconception, red-eared sliders do not have saliva. They, like most aquatic turtles, have fixed tongues, so they must eat their food in water.

Something I did not know. Reptiles do not hibernate, but actually brumate, becoming less active, but occasionally rising for food or water. Brumation can occur in varying degrees. Red-eared sliders brumate over the winter at the bottom of ponds or shallow lakes; they become inactive, generally, in October, when temperatures fall below 10 °C (50 °F).

So that is why he always moved around. Red-eared sliders kept captive indoors should not brumate.

Nature is wonderful. A new hatchling turtles breaks open its eggs with its egg-tooth, which falls out about an hour after hatching. This egg tooth never grows back.

A pet. The red-eared slider, often sold cheaply, is the most common type of water turtle kept as pets. As with other turtles, tortoises and box turtles, individuals that survive their first year or two can be expected to live almost as long as their owners. Individuals of this species have lived at least 35 years in captivity.

We used to have this turtle as a pet as I mentioned. I remember how we lost him for few days on the yard. He wondered away. We thought we will never see him again. Three days later my mother heard children yelling ‘Look a turtle, a turtle‘, with excitement on her face (stuck in my face forever) she ran out and grabbed him and said ‘He is ours‘.

On the side note if you decide to lean over to look for the basking turtles on your next trip to the pond you may want to be cautious. There are many Canada geese nesting very close to the boardwalk. The male is very protective and it will hiss if you get too close. They like to stand on the railing.

Hissing Canada Goose, McKenzie Marsh, Town of Aurora

About the Author

Anna Lozyk Romeo

I am living in Aurora and this is my photo journal blog. A picture says 1000 words - but not always, so I write. You don't have to travel 1000 miles to find a treasure - all I have to do is zoom through my lens and I will find it for you here in Aurora.

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