Where do we begin! Turtles are by far one of the most fascinating, unique and absolutely amazing animals to walk and swim on this earth. If you have ever had the pleasure of meeting a turtle, you probably noticed that the bulk of its body is encased within its shell. The anatomy of the shell is quite complex, and differs by species. The majority of turtles native to South Carolina have a shell that is fused together by dozens of bony plates called scutes. A single scute can showcase vibrant colors, intricate patterns and immense complexity. It is hard to imagine how so much beauty can be packed in to a thin layer of keratin that sheds off in some species.
All species of turtles, even sea turtles dig a nest and lay their eggs on land. Once the eggs are carefully deposited in the nest, mom leaves and never comes back. The babies are born to be self-sufficient right out of the egg. How they know what to do the second they are born is quite mystifying.
Turtles need our help! Due to illegal trafficking and habit loss, turtles are slowly, but surely diminishing from the wild. Can you envision a world without turtles? Us neither!
Brake for turtles and help them cross the road in the direction they were headed. Turtles have an impressive homing instinct, relocating a turtle or turning it in a different direction can be quite devastating for that animal. If you find an injured turtle, immediately take it to a local reptile rehabilitator and make note of the exact location found. Please don’t take healthy turtles out of the wild. There are so many that need homes, especially Red Eared Sliders. If you are interested in adopting a Red Eared Slider, please send Julie an email Julie@carolinawildlife.org