Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I Like Turtles

Ontario has eight species of native turtle, and before this weekend I'd seen six of them. I've looked several times for Stinkpot and Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtles, but hadn't had any luck. However, I spent a good amount of time in some great turtle habitat on Sunday, and got lucky.

There were many, probably hundreds of Northern Map Turtles around, mostly basking on shore or in shallow water. A few were also walking around on the beach, presumably heading to or from their nesting sites.

While scanning through the map turtle heads poking out of the water, I started noticing some differently shaped ones: Eastern Spiny Softshells!

The snorkel-like snout makes this species very distinctive. I ended up seeing three or four individuals, including getting quite good looks at the one above.

Now I just need to find a Stinkpot!

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