Tortoise Id

Nile crocodiles, terrapins, tortoises and turtles.

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Tortoise Id

Postby Kakibos » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:01 pm

Hey guys, today at work I found this little guy. I have no idea what Tortoise it is.
I found him/her basking on the gravel road on the farms near Vaal Marina.
Sorry for the crappy pics, I only had my cellphone.

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Here are two pics of the Habitat where I found the little guy.

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Re: Tortoise Id

Postby Westley Price » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:05 pm

Hey man

It's not actually a tortoise, but rather a terrapin (water skilpad). To be more specific, a Marsh Terrapin (Pelomedusa subrufa)

I'm surprised to see it in such dry habitat. Did you have rain lately there?
"I am dying by inches from not having anybody to talk to about insects." - Charles Darwin
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Re: Tortoise Id

Postby NewtTZ » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:13 pm

Not a tortoise. Marsh Terrapin or related side neck terrapin species. The ditch next to the road must have held water or moist mud. These terrapins have evolved to live in semi permanent water sources and will go into a dormant state under the mud during a drought.
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Re: Tortoise Id

Postby Kakibos » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:15 pm

Thanks westley, thanks for the correction and ID
yes Vaal Marina is next to Vaal Dam so it rains allot,
it actually rained the previous night.
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Re: Tortoise Id

Postby Kakibos » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:24 pm

NewtTZ wrote:The ditch next to the road must have held water or moist mud. These terrapins have evolved to live in semi permanent water sources and will go into a dormant state under the mud during a drought.


About a hundred meters further, there is a farm dam (permanent), maybe it came from there. I let him go at the exact place where I found him just
off the road.
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Re: Tortoise Id

Postby Westley Price » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:27 pm

Funny question; did you pick him up with your bare hands?

And if you did, did you notice anything "strange" after?

Cool find!
"I am dying by inches from not having anybody to talk to about insects." - Charles Darwin
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Re: Tortoise Id

Postby Kakibos » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:31 pm

westley wrote:Funny question; did you pick him up with your bare hands?

And if you did, did you notice anything "strange" after?

Cool find!


I only got a stinky smell on my hands from dripping water or urine ( I think), and a little scratch from those long nails.
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Re: Tortoise Id

Postby Westley Price » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:33 pm

Haha, yeah that was what I was after.

It's not the urine that smells so bad, but their musk.

I have also helped some off the road in the past and had to drive with my hand outside the window all the way home!
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Re: Tortoise Id

Postby Kakibos » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:37 pm

Haha yes it was a bad smell, luckily I had the "luxury" off a farm dam to wash my hands.
Thanks guys for looking, hope you enjoyed.
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