Monday, June 28, 2010

Turtle 411, or 911 as the Case May Be

Meet the newest member of our ever-growing family. My kids want to name him Sonic. Or is it a her? Who knows.

turtle profile

We found this little turtle in our back yard and fell in love with it. So cute!

turtle face

The problem is, we don't know if it's a turtle or a tortoise! I'm guessing a turtle, but from the investigation I've done on Google (remember: Google = gospel) turtles have flat shells and webbed feet. You can see that Sonic has neither of those, but I'm thinking those characteristics are only for aquatic turtles. However, we are guessing he isn't a water turtle, considering the nearest water to our house is a concrete drainage ditch. I took this picture next to a dollar bill so that you could see how big he really is:

turtle dollar

Also, Sonic's shell doesn't really look like a typical box turtle's shell. Also? No stripes on his face. His shape really indicates more of a tortoise, but tortoises aren't really native to America like turtles are. Tortoises have more of a domed shell, like Sonic does.

turtle bottom

We put him in a large cardboard box outside in the shade. My husband put in a fake plastic tree (for decoration? I don't think it's fooling the turtle.) For food, we've given him some lettuce and a few carrots and a dish of water. I've put in a few pitted cherries too. We tried to give him bugs (turtles are omnivores but tortoises are herbivores) but he showed no interest in eating. Then again, he might have been a bit freaked out from the many small hands that want to pet him and love him and feel his skin and touch his claws.

I don't blame him one bit for pooping on the plastic tree.


So, any turtle/tortoise experts out there? Ahem, I mean herpetologists? Can anyone give me the 411 on this reptile?

Texan Mama


Bridgett said...

I'm guessing immature box turtle. Very cute once you put it up against the dollar bill for size comparison.

Jennifer said...

I have no idea. I found one at work earlier this year and brought it home. It was just regular old box turtle. We let it go in the backyard. I think it is still back there because David will see it every once in awhile.

Foursons said...

That's so great. I love the 1st shot!

Draea Lael (Rose) said...

No idea the type or turtle he is, but just be really careful when you handle him. They can carry some pretty nasty bacteria, akin to salmonila (sp). Make sure everyone washed hands really well. We found one in our yard during the last big rain we had, got pictures and let him head over to the pond. And then we made everyone scrob and use anti-bacterial gel.

Melissa said...

It looks like a baby box turtle (I used to work at a nature center). The like veggies of all kinds we have even feed them feeder goldfish (just on the plate with their veggies). You can also get turtle food at the pet store (it looks like compressed pellets).

They do carry salmonella so always wash hands and keep little hands out of mouths and eyes.

Julie from Momspective said...

I want it. I want Sonic. I also want to go to Sonic and eat tater tots. We found a turtle in our yard but instead of keeping it, we all went for a walk and put him (or her) in the marsh we assumed he (or she) came from. We did this simply because we didn't feel like buying the stuff we need to keep a turtle, but I miss that little guy (or girl).

Wendy said...

How adorable!

The best resource I found was this one:

It has tons of pictures (I never found one that really looked like yours, but box turtle or texas tortoise isn't a bad guess) and how to care for them.

Wendy said...

This is the closest I found to anything resembling your little guy.

texasholly said...

I haven't a clue but agree that the fake plant isn't helping much...hahaha.

a ji o ji suno ji said...
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