Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Pond Turtles

By Jessa Franck, keeper

A bird keeper discovered three newly hatched pond turtles (Clemmys marmorata) by the flamingo feeder last week. They were quickly scooped up and transported to the reptile house. Loyal readers may remember from the post "A Day in the Life… of a Reptile Keeper" that we collect pond turtle hatchlings on zoo grounds and give them a head start. This allows them to grow larger more quickly and thus be safer from predators like crows. The three turtles weighed in at 6.7 grams, 7.0 grams, and 6.7 grams. Their shells were marked temporarily so we can tell individuals apart. The turtles will be weighed and measured weekly to monitor growth. They are now on display in the reptile house next to the single hatchling found in October of 2006. Favorite foods so far are small mealworms and crickets. They should be ready for release in spring of 2009.

1 comment:

  1. I inherited two baby pond turtles (about the size of a quarter), we won't discuss how I ended up with them. Anyway, That was about two years ago. Their shells are now between 6 to 8 inches. We found out their favorite food the expensive way. When I first got them, I set them up in a ten gallon aquarium and thought it would be nice to add a few fancy guppies and a black fantail goldfish, thinking they were too big for the turtles to eat. I was wrong, the fish didn't last 24 hours. To this day, about once a week wI throw in a dozen or so feeder fish (large ones), and they are gone in about 24 hours. My turtles love fish! They are now in a 50 gallon aquarium.