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Any turtle experts out there ?
This guy was in my front yard this morning. ( Fredericksburg, VA )
Anybody know what kind of turtle this is ?
His head looks like a regular old painted turtle..... but I'm no expert......
What's his belly look like ?
I did not disturb the turtle. He looked like he was on a mission, probably to meet up with a girlfriend.
That's a Red Ear Slider. The water turtle that we could buy as kids (decades ago). They're in a lot of ponds, lakes, and rivers all over the country. Gene
Yep... I kinda know my Turtles....that is a Eastern River Cooter .... see link
Thanks, guys, especially JTV.
However, I must admit, I was a tad bit scared to click on any link with the word "cooter" in it.
JTV's link, however, was indeed PG rated.
Thanks again to all, going to send an email off to the VADGIF.
Came across this big guy Sat. while I was working on stand locations ..crossing a lane going to another marsh ... about 15 lbs ...'prolly a 30 yr old snapper..... I helped him along, grabbed him by the tail and set him in the marsh...
I've moved lots of snappers off the road by picking them up by the tail..... not sure if it hurts them but I'm sure getting hit by a car would hurt them.
I saved a painted that almost got run over by a school bus too..... I took it to the golf course it walked away from and put it back in one of their ponds.... turtles are cool !! I'm sure there are guys here that eat snapping turtles too.....
I'll bet Ive saved a few dozen snappers thru the years from becoming road kill... same for Painted turtles and Sliders and some Box turtles ... I grew up eating Snappers ..my dad used to set large traps for 'em in the local swamps and marshes, he'd float planks with the wire traps attached to 'em.... another way was to pound very sturdy metal Poles or 6" round fence posts into the mud and hang treble hooks baited with meat at water level using steel cables.... deep fried snapper is very good ....
I guess if there's red ears on it, I will concede to JTV. I guess both live in the waters of Virginia. Gene
JTV just got a new nickname, Cooter!
thanks DL, Ive been called waaay worse ...lol.....
Canepole here we just call them sliders. I have caught hundreds of them when trapping snapping turtles. You can pick them up the won't try to bite you like a snapper. Most farm ponds are full of them. They get to be pretty good size but not nearly as heavy as a snapper.
Carrying a big snapper by the tail can injure it, so I read.
I trap them, eat them, and make leather with their skins for selfbow grips, knife sheaths, etc. Turtles are cool.
Interesting fact... snappers can lay in the mud at the bottom of ponds, under ice all winter without coming up for air... for up to 6 months. I used to think they'd dig up into the bank above the water line so they could breathe. Nope, they're down there holding their breath. That's badass.
My daughter had a pet painted..... I thought it was going to drown because it was under water so long.... but I read online that they absorb some oxygen through their skin....
They are like liberals. When they hibernate they breathe through their butt. Look it up, " Cloacal Bursae"
I'm sort of a turtle fan and rescue them on the roadway all the time by relocating them to a nearby golf course. But if they put their heads up in our Fishing pond they're an endangered species.
Painted turtles, snapping turtles and sliders can stay under water in the winter. I have seen them all, many times, through the ice. Yet when the water warms up the die very quickly if kept under water. My snapper traps all had to have a chamber above the water so they could get air. You can't sell a dead snapper, they must be alive. Also all the above turtles will be dead when caught in a fish fyke in warm weather.
It’s a Northern Red-bellied Cooter (Pseudemys rubriventris),
From: "Kleopfer, John (DGIF)"
To: "Knox, Matt (DGIF)"; 'tony oliver'
Sent: Wednesday, September 6, 2017 10:18 AM
Subject: RE: Eastern River Cooter ( turtle )
Thanks for sharing. It’s a Northern Red-bellied Cooter (Pseudemys rubriventris), which are closely related and often confused for Eastern River Cooters (P. concinna). If you look closely at the head shot photo, you can see the cusps on the upper jaw. Cusps add in tearing apart fibrous aquatic plants, which is its primary food source. Its belly also has the characteristic reddish color.
As they get older, they often melanize (turn black) and lose their pattern. No one knows why this happens. It’s just one of nature’s mysteries. They’re only found in the mid-Atlantic region, but widespread and common throughout the Coastal Plain of Virginia with a few populations extending into the Piedmont region and Shenandoah Valley.
John (J.D.) Kleopfer, Herpetologist, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Eastern, Northern, hey whats a few miles ....lol.... but it is a Cooter ....
It was found south of the Mason Dixon therefore it's a southern cooter, Cooter. Out here in California it would be listed as endangered species. There could be a hundreds of thousands of a species in other states but as soon as one steps a foot, paw or seed in California it's called an endangered species. With that entitlement it is protected and the land it calls home wherever it wanders can become protected. In case of plants on your property they can come in and fence it off to protect the species.
The Mason Dixon line ran right through property I owned. I have caught cooters in a stream on both sides of the Mason Dixon stone. So I guess I have caught Northern Cooters and Southern Cooters in the same day. They say you learn something every day so I guess you can call me Cooter Catcher.