Monday, October 01, 2007

Baby Snapping Turtles

Subject: Twenty Baby Snapping Turtles Hatched: Oct. 01, 2000

Although this hatching of baby Snapping Turtles was on the same calendar day as today, October 1st; the year was 2000. We usually see Snapping Turtles laying eggs each year in June however we have only been fortunate enough to see the actually hatching of the baby turtles on three different occasions.

"It looks like you got there at just the right time. Gritty looking bunch, aren't they?"

Those comments which I had received from my son, after having sent him some of the pictures which I had taken while watching 20 baby Snapping Turtles emerging from their nest, reflected my thoughts also; for after having watched the nest site since the laying of the eggs on June 27, 2000; I began to think that perhaps we had missed the hatching. However on October 1, 2000, I arrived at the nest site at exactly the right moment to see a baby Snapping
Turtle emerge.
The patterned details of the shell could be detected, and its distinctive serrated edge was easily observed. The baby turtles all turned in the same direction after emerging and immediately made their way through the grassy edge of the steep embankment and then downhill to the river.

I didn't know what to expect but I discoverd that just one hole, of about 1 1/2" to 1 3/4" in diameter, was the exit used by all of the baby turtles . The exit hole is the center dark spot in the photos above. Also I have observed over the years that the same nest location has been used over and over again.

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