Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Turtle Crossing Merit Badge


If you live in Florida, you have no doubt already earned your helping a turtle cross the street merit badge a hundred times over. Once again I was called into action. Along with requisite consumption of two very strong cups of coffee, this mornings duties included helping a turtle navigate a daunting curb after crossing the street. Although I sure this Florida box turtle (Terrapene carolina bauri) would have been quite capable of navigating along the curb until he came to grass again; I really didn’t want him to spend that much time on the roadway with the all the summer school traffic coming in this morning.  And of course it gives me an excuse to share him with you.


A very easy to ID turtle in the field; the Florida box turtle has a very dark brown carapace (top of the shell) with bright yellow striations. This little guy was also easily identified as a male from the deep indentation at the rear of the plastron (belly of the shell). Another neat feature of the box turtle is the hinge on the forward portion of the plastron which allows the box turtle to nearly seal himself in completely.


Not previously noted in any historical wildlife sightings in the Back Woods; this Florida box turtle is a welcome addition to our little forest home.


Kristen said...

My most recent turtle crossing merit badge came from a gigantic softshell turtle that decided he was tired about half-way across Livingston Ave.

My friend Jennie was driving and as she saw the turtle she sighed and began to slow down, putting on her 4-ways. Once we stopped she turned and looked at me in the passenger seat and said "Go ahead. I knew you'd want to so I stopped the car before you asked".

My friends are so very patient with my animal rescuing.

TheLongleaf said...

Too funny! Jennie is an animal rescuer chauffeur! My last real road rescue was shooing a little 3 foot alligator off the road and deep into a pasture south of Ellenton before the truck full kids who also screeched off the road at the site of it could snatch it up and take it home! They were very unhappy with me. LOL