Monday, June 09, 2008



This is a baby alligator snapping turtle we found a couple weeks ago. Its shell is roughly the size of a sand dollar or the cover of tennis ball can. The largest freshwater turtle in North America, specimens can grow to a few hundred pounds, but even young adults of moderate size can be pretty ferocious when cornered--capable of lopping of a finger with a quickly darting head and powerful snapping jaws. In my Stand By Me childhood, my friends and I called them 'shell sharks', but they're awfully cute and harmless when they're tiny.


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