Sunday, November 18, 2007


America's Next Top Eastern Painted Turtle that is. I had a photo sesh with Cashew today. He did pretty well, but needs to work on conveying more emotion in the eyes. There he is being silly with some shrimp pellet pieces on his head.
He gave me a scare yesterday. I believe it might have been a near drowning. I was in the basement working on resecuring the ceiling to stop the mice/chipmunk entry, when I saw him walking around the bottom of the tank. This was odd for him, but I let him go for about 15 minutes. He made a few attempts to escape the situation by clawing at the tank walls. But he's always done that at all water levels. Finally I got worried, grabbed him and put him on the floating rock. He usually scurries off it and hides in the aquatic plant. But this time he just sat there, front feet limp, and breathing real heavy for a couple minutes. Freaking me out all along. Then I shut the heat lamp off and he moved and turned toward the water. And then he went back into the water and into the plant. All was well. Of course a few minutes later he was on the bottom of the tank again, but he found his way back up. I think the filter system has made some currents he can't quite fight yet. But he should manage to find his way to the filter box (it sucks toward it) and then can climb on top of it and then be almost out of the water. He did this the second time he was hanging out on the bottom. I wonder if this was what happened to Peanut.

This is the usual spot I find him...tangled in the roots of the aquatic plant. He's grown quite a bit. His shell is 1.3 inches long. I'm really hoping to keep him out of hibneration this winter so he can grow and be large enough to be free by next fall. But he has to learn how to eat live food before then.


Colleen said...

I didn't realize the turtle existence was so fraught with danger. I hope he lasts to the next round of ANTEPT.

Jules said...

He's very cute.

Kartek said...

Yup. I think like at least 80 percent of turtlets don't make it to adulthood. Hopefully Cashew will be one of the elite.