Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 20, 2014: Northern Spiny Softshell

Northern Spiny Softshell Turtle.  6/18/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

This Northern Spiny Softshell Turtle was found on the lakes trail, east of the bridge and just north of the trail junction. Softshells are flat and leathery. This apparent female, about the size of a dessert platter, had a smooth shell, with cone-like projections at the front of the carapace. They are known to bite and scratch, but this one was quite docile when I picked her up, carried her to the edge of water, and then released her. She moved slowly through the submerged rip-rap and vegetation and then shot off when she reached open water.

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