Category Archives: Blanding’s turtles

Turtles, Turtles, Turtles

Today, we had a great visit with Dr. Windmiller.  We discussed many issues, including whether Zelva’s mother, turtle 2030, should continue to have her hatchlings placed in the Head Start program as well as what is the best habitat to release the headstarts.

I would you to comment on both points.

  •  Should turtle mother 2030 continue to have her hatchlings placed in the head start program due to the eating problems that some of her hatchlings are having this year.
  • What is the best habitat to release the head starts and why?
  • What type of data would you like to have the next time Dr. Windmiller comes in?

 

The 2012-13 Hatchlings Need a Name!

Our hatchlings arrived last week.  Turtle 1029 came from Turtle Mother 30 and was hatched on August 27th.  This hatchling weighed 11.4 grams and was 37.4 mm in length.  Turtle 1038 came from Turtle Mother 2030 and was hatched on August 28th.  This little turtle weighed in at 9.5 grams and was 37.5 mm in length.

Your job tonight is to come up with two potential names for the turtles.  But, here’s the catch.  They either need to be named after someone who MADE A DIFFERENCE or it should be a name meaning turtle in another language (Kame and Kachua mean turtle in Japanese and Hindu).  You should write about why you think this would be a good name for the turtles.

Your post should be 3 to 4 sentences for EACH name.  You should write your post on a word processing document first and then edit it carefully for punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and grammar.  Then you can post it into the blog.

Have fun with this and be creative!

Eastern Vernal Pools, Moore’s Swamp or Great Meadows? That is the Question

Kachua and Kame – reunited!

We have a decision to make regarding Kachua.  Dr. Windmiller is allowing us to decide where she will be released on Saturday, June 23rd.  If we want her to have a turtle tracker, she will need to be released at Great Meadows or at the Eastern Vernal Pools.  If we don’t want her to have a tracker, she can be released at Moore’s Swamp.

Based on what you know about the habitats at these  locations, please write a persuasive paragraph about where you think Kachua should be released.  You should use an elaborated paragraph template, complete with your FREDS, say mores, and a so what at the end.

Great Meadows

Mrs. Erickson at one of the Eastern Vernal Pools

Moore’s Swamp

Headstart found at Great Meadows July 2011

Weight Watchers for Kame and Kachua

 

The Girls

In our quest to make sure that our head starts were of a good size to be released into the wild, it appears that the turtles might be a bit overweight as a result.  

Dr. Murray from Tufts Wildlife Center writes this report about Kame:

We took x-rays on Kame yesterday and I don’t see any abnormalities in the bones of the leg. I do see that she does not use that leg the same way she uses the left. On examining her, the most notable problem is that she is–sorry, there’s no other way to put it and I don’t want to offend–obese. Her carapace is also slightly mis-shapen toward the tail end. 

I don’t know the reason for the lameness/decreased use of the right front leg at this point. Is she very active in her enclosure? It is possible that she simply twisted it and caused a soft tissue injury in the leg and is reluctant to use it because it is sore.

Sam was asking about the UV light because the light is important for normal calcium metabolism and growth of bone, including the shell. The abnormality of her carapace could possibly be related to not having enough exposure to UV light. It could also be due to her simply growing too fast. The carapace is not a huge problem for her, but it is good that you have replaced the light.

At this point, we can hold on to her, treat her with some anti-inflammatory medication for the leg, and start her on a diet and see how she does with the leg.  We definitely need to get her weight down. Do you have other turtles, and, if so, are they all as, well, round as Kame? 

So your job in this blog is to develop a plan to get Kame and Kachua’s weight down.  What should they be eating?  How often should they be eating?  How can we get them to exercise more?  What types of experiences would get them to be ready for the wild?

Comparing Blanding’s Turtles Born at Different Locations

Kame

This year, there are three different hatching locations for the Blanding’s turtle head starts:  Great Meadows area in Concord, Littleton (on the side of Route 2) and Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge.  Your job for this blog is to do the following:

1.  Read about both Great Meadow and Oxbow National Wildlife Refuges by clicking on the links.  Name three interesting facts about EACH wildlife refuge.

2.  On the spreadsheet that you received about the location of hatching, dates of hatching, and December weights, please answer the following questions:

a.  What is the range of hatching dates at Great Meadows?  (when did the first group hatch and when did the last group hatch?)

b.  What is the range of hatching dates at Oxbow?  (when did the first group hatch and when did the last group hatch?)

c.  When did the Littleton turtles hatch?

d.  What is the range of December weights for the Great Meadows turtles?  (the lowest weight to the highest weight)

e.  What is the range of December weights for the Littleton turtles?  (the lowest weight to the highest weight)

f.  What is the range of December weights for the Oxbow turtles? (the lowest weight to the highest weight)

3.  What differences do you notice and why do you think there are these differences?  What other data might help you figure out these differences?

DUE THURSDAY, JANUARY 12TH

 

A Letter to Kame and Kachua from Lynn-D and Yertle

Moore's Swamp

Lynn-D and Yertle have been residents of Moore’s Swamp for five months now.  As we are watching Kame and Kachua grow from little nine gram hatchlings to over four times that size over the past two months, it won’t be long now before they too are released back into their natural habitat.

So, for this assignment, you are to write a letter to Kame and Kachua from Lynn-D and Yertle.  Your letter should be at least two paragraphs in length, should be creative, use great words, and be very descriptive in nature.  Here is also what your letter should contain:

1.  Your letter should include information from the time that Dr. Windmiller put Yertle into upper Moore’s Swamp and from the time that I put Lynn-D into lower Moore’s Swamp.  What were their feelings when they were released into the swamp?  What did they do for the first few days?

2.  They have been released now for five months.  Over this time period, we have seen lots of different weather, ranging from 100 degree days to Hurricane Irene to snow and thunder storms as well as some nice days.  Write about how they

Yertle being released by Dr. Windmiller

have adapted to all these different weather.

3.  What types of activities and fun have Yertle and Lynn-D had at Moore’s Swamp?  What types of food have they found in Moore’s Swamp?  What do they do on a daily basis?

4.   Advice for Kame and Kachua from Lynn-D and Yertle.  What types of adaptations will help them survive in Moore’s Swamp?  What should they be doing in their tank to get ready?

5.  Yertle and Lynn-D’s opinion on whether or not Moore’s Swamp is a great place for the Blanding’s turtles.

 

YOU CAN ALSO DO THIS AS A CREATIVE STORY.  PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU INTEGRATE SOME OF THE POINTS FROM ABOVE THOUGH IN YOUR STORY.

Make sure you first type your letter in a word processing program.  It should have perfect capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and grammar.  Make sure an adult proofreads it for you before posting.

Lynn-D being released by Mrs. Erickson

DUE THURSDAY

2011 Hatchlings By the Number

Turtle 232

Now that we have our two new Blanding’s turtle hatchlings, it’s time to reacquaint ourselves with data analysis.  Take a look at the following three tables and answer the questions about each.  Remember to answer your questions in full sentences.   You can click on the tables to make them easier to read.  A reminder of data analysis terms:

1.  Range:  list the data from the lowest number to the highest number.

2.  Median:  the middle number in a set of data.  If it is an odd number of data, it is the middle number.  If it is an even number, you add the middle two numbers and divide it by two.

 

Data from Turtle 3300

1.  What is the range of lengths for the hatchlings of Turtle 3300?  What is the difference between the lowest and highest length?  What is the median length?

2.  What is the range of weights for the hatchlings of Turtle 3300?  What is the difference between the lowest and heaviest weight?  What is the median weight?

3.  Where does our turtle 224 fall within this data?

Data for Hatchlings of Turtle 334

1.  What is the range of lengths for the hatchlings of Turtle 334?  What is the difference between the lowest and highest length?  What is the median length?

2.  What is the range of weights for the hatchlings of Turtle 334?  What is the difference between the lowest and heaviest weight?  What is the median weight?

3.  Where does our turtle 232 fall within this data?

Take a look at the number of hatchlings for both these turtle mothers.  How would you describe the number of live births that each turtle mother had in 2011?  What would you attribute this difference to?

Number of Live Births from 2008 to 2011

A Letter to Yertle and Lynn-D from the Blanding’s Turtles of Moore’s Swamp

Moore's Swamp on a Cold January Day

This Wednesday, we will be traveling to Moore’s Swamp to release our head-start Yertle.  Your job on this post is to pretend you are one of the turtles who

Yertle and Lynn-D Hanging Out

live at Moore’s Swamp and write a letter to Yertle and Lynn-D, welcoming them to their  new home.  You can either be a headstart who was released there last year, a turtle who naturally just moved there, or one of the CCHS headstarts who were just released there a week ago.  You should first watch the movie that I just created to help you write this post.

Your letter, which should be two paragraphs in length, should contain the following information:

1.  Information about the turtle writing the letter to Yertle and Lynn-D  

2.  What Moore’s Swamp is like?  What types of producers live around there?  Why are producers an important part of the food chain?  Where do the producers get their energy from? What other types of animals might Yertle and Lynn-D encounter?

3.  What type of weather will Yertle and Lynn-D be encountering.  Think about what the weather has been like over the past week.

4.  What types of activities and fun will Yertle and Lynn-D have once they get to Moore’s Swamp?  What types of food have the other turtles found in Moore’s Swamp?  What do the other turtles do on a daily basis?

5.  What the other turtles are looking forward to showing Yertle and Lynn-D once they settle in to Moore’s Swamp.

6.  Advice for Yertle and Lynn-D from the Moore’s Swamp turtle.  What types of adaptations will help them  survive in Moore’s Swamp?

7.  How have the changes in Moore’s Swamp made it a great place for the Blanding’s turtles?

Please check your letter carefully for any spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and gammatical errors.  This post is due on THURSDAY

Look How We’ve Changed!

Yertle and Bowser on Labor Day

We’ve had Yertle since school started in September and Lynn-D since the middle of March.  During both of those time frames,

Yertle and Lynn-D on Memorial Day

they have changed in many ways.  From little hatchlings, they now look like miniature adult Blanding’s turtles.  Initially, they were eating a few few small turtle pellets, now they are eating earthworms, mealworms, aquatic creatures, and for Yertle, as

many crayfish as he can get his mouth on!  For tonight’s blog, due on Thursday, you are to analyze the following data and answer the following questions.  Remember that you can click on the table to make it larger.  Make sure you use complete sentences in your answer.

 

1.  How much weight did Yertle gain from when he hatched until June 1st?

2.  How much longer did Yertle become from his hatching date until June 1st?

3.  About how many times larger did Yertle become during this time (hint divide the June weight by the birth weight)

4.  During what two months did Yertle gain the most weight?

5.  How much weight did Lynn-D  gain from when she hatched until June 1st?

6.  How much longer did Lynn-D become from her hatching date until June 1st?

7.  About how many times larger did Lynn-D become during this time (hint divide the June weight by the birth weight)

8.  During what two months did Lynn-D gain the most weight?

On two separate pieces of graph paper, create two graphs:  one comparing the weights of Yertle and Lynn-D and one comparing the lengths of Yertle and Lynn-D.  Your graphs should contain a title, labels, key, and should be done in color.

 

Live Food!

Our Blanding’s turtles are being introduced to “live” food to start to prepare them for their release in June.  Watch this video of their first encounter with an earthworm and then write a story from one of the turtle’s perspective about this experience.