Box Turtle Observation Project - Linda

This is Linda. She is the smallest of the turtles, probably only a few years old. She was wandering across County Route 3 on July 28, 1994. The driver of the logging truck that almost ran over my red station wagon as I stopped to retrieve her because he "couldn't see my car" probably wouldn't have seen this little treasure either. The area she was leaving has just been clear-cut, so I took her along with me. She is quiet and retiring. She can disappear into the vegetation at her summer home with ease, and not be seen for days. The other turtles ignore her, and she ignores them. She is inquisitive and gamely finds her way around or over the obstacles the other turtles clear easily, yet finds places they cannot go.

Linda's Picture

Update - May, 2000.  Well, it looks as if Linda is really Lindy - a male.  The issue was really in doubt the last two years as he matured.  His eyes became even redder, and the bottom of his shell began to develop a concavity.  The other turtles still ignored him, but Linus began to bully him constantly, leaving raw bloody areas on his shell.  It was obvious that one of them would have to go.  Early in May, I took him out to Julie Zickefoose.  Here's what happened a few days later when Naraht showed up.....

 

"For the third spring in a row, I've found Nahrat in my front yard. Four years ago, Dave McShaffrey of Marietta College brought him to me, having mended his shell over a period of years from what looked like a car or baseball bat injury--huge cracks along the front and top of his carapace. Copper wire held the shell together until it healed. He still sports drilled holes and exposed bone on his carapace, but it obviously doesn't slow him down. This morning, he was trundling across the lawn toward the worm-rich compost pile, bright eyed and in great condition. I brought him in the house for a drink and breakfast of mealworms, introduced him to Linda, (see below) who he tried to court. Linda pressed the attack and I had to separate them, or there would have been turtle parts all over the floor. I took Nahrat back outside and told him I'd see him next year..

Also this morning, I released Linda (Lindy), an imm. male box turtle who's been in captivity with Dave for 5 or 6 years. Great turtle. On my way down to the spring to release him, I encountered a 7-year-old juvenile, the loveliest box turtle I've seen, with orange front legs and still-brown eyes. About the size of a navel orange, the second-smallest turtle I've found on the place. Linda immediately stuck his head into the juvenile's shell and attempted to nip its feet, so I took Linda to the spring so he'd leave it be, figuring it too young to breed.

On my way back through the orchard, I encountered a large male boxy in excellent condition, and Bill helped a male cross the road less than a mile from here, too. Crawling with turtles on this first day of true spring, the day the turtles came out."


Julie Zickefoose

Carol Karl Linus Linda Terry

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Modified 8/25/96