When I posted about the turtles mating in my garden last week, I was asked if I'd ever seen baby turtles in my garden. My response was "no", but I've found photographic evidence that I was mistaken.
To be clear though, back in July 2000 when these photos were taken I did not have a garden, just a regular suburban yard with lawn, trees, and a couple of shrubs. I still saw turtles even back then -- I suppose it was much easier to spot them without all of the pesky plants getting in the way.
It was my stepson that found this, and we made sure to document it with my ancient digital camera.
How about a grape?
Or some cantaloupe?
I'm not liking this too much...
|Is this a 2-year old turtle?|
...but I'm young and resilient.
Since box turtles can live 50 years or more, this could be one of the mature turtles I've just seen!
Once maturity is reached, the chance of death seems not to increase with age. The survivorship curve of box turtles is therefore probably similar to that of other long-living turtles. The average life span of adult box turtles is 50 years, while a significant portion lives over 100 years. The age of a growing box turtle in the wild can be roughly estimated by counting the growth rings on the scutes; the plastron is the best place to do this because it also allows examination of wear pattern. However, the rate of 1 ring per growth season has not been fully confirmed, and estimates beyond 20 years are unreliable because the scutes is usually worn smooth.
I still want to see a baby or young turtle now, at the very least to get some photos with a modern camera. A newborn would be the absolute best find...