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Painted Turtles Hatchlings Emerging From Nests In Northern New England

5-24-17 painted turtle 001

Adult Painted Turtles leave their ponds in May, June and July to find a sandy spot in which to dig a hole and deposit their half dozen or so eggs.  In most of their range, Painted Turtles hatch and emerge from their nest several months later, from August through early September. In the northern part of their range, however, the young turtles hatch in the fall but usually overwinter in their underground nest and emerge in the spring.

When turtles hatch, they use a modified scale called an egg-tooth, or carbuncle, located on the front of their upper jaw, to puncture their leathery egg shell.  (Although referred to as an egg-tooth, it is not a real tooth.) Typically the egg tooth disappears in a matter of days or weeks after hatching.  However, Painted Turtle hatchlings in northern New England retain their egg teeth through the winter, and emerge in the spring with it still intact, as this photograph demonstrates.  (Thanks to Nancy and Rob Foote for photo op.)

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4 responses


    thank you for your efforts which i greatly enjoy

    would you please consider not placing your huge copyright on your photos

    or at the very least making it less conspicuous

    i enjoy the pictures and defacing them with that tag

    destroys many if not all your best images

    while offering no protection

    thanks again


    May 22, 2017 at 11:40 am

    • I wish I understood the copyright laws better. I’ve been told that I should include this, but it seems to me that it could be photoshopped out very easily. I will look into it, as I, too, would prefer not having it there if it’s not preventing illegal use of my images!

      May 22, 2017 at 12:10 pm

  2. Alice Pratt

    Great photo! Awesome animals! I was fortunate to help 2 across the street a few weeks ago….one large one would most likely have been hit by the car behind me!

    May 22, 2017 at 1:32 pm

  3. Jean Harrison

    Now I really get the meaning of the term “turtleneck sweater”.

    May 23, 2017 at 12:48 am

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