[Tweeters] Winter Turtle

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Sun Jan 18 10:03:03 PST 2015

Thanks Dennis and Kelly for more turtle information.
Yes, Dennis, I have seen plenty of Red-eared Sliders on the Lake, so was careful in my id: prominent yellow stripes on head, and bright red plastron markings, so it sure seemed to be a Painted. Now, as to whether it was a Buddhist or not, I'm not certain - it did appear to be meditating though.
I would love to find them Snappers, and Softshells - not with my toes though - I hear they bite. My ol' friend Tom from Michigan told me they used to find Snapping turtles back there by feeling with their feet - you stand on the turtle then reach down and grab 'em by the tail and haul them up. Since he wasn't known as 'Three-fingered Tom', maybe he really knew how to do that.
I remember as a little kid in Seattle, that Lake Washington was a body of water one should not venture into for health reasons. Now days it's quite the biological melting pot. Are there actually more introduced species ( from algae,on up through fish, herps, and all the way to Nutria) than natives in Lake Washington? Maybe.
Jeff Gibsonturtle amateur

From: mcallisters4 at comcast.net
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: RE: [Tweeters] Winter Turtle
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2015 08:58:25 -0800

Since Dennis provided such excellent additional detail on the turtles of Lake Washington, I’ll add a couple of things since I’ve also been a student of the unusually diverse exotic turtle fauna of the big urban lake. Though adult sliders are very common in many of our urban lakes, small sliders are virtually never seen. It leads to questions about whether these introduced turtles are successfully reproducing or, perhaps, strictly the result of repeated releases. I’ve been told that Chinese have a practice of releasing turtles into the wild as part of celebrations like weddings. It may be a practice associated with Buddhism. I attempted to determine whether a slider nest on Pattison Lake, in Thurston County, produced little turtles. I was able to determine embryonic development but winter was looming and the embryos were far from full development so, in that case, I doubted reproductive success. Turtles sometimes, perhaps frequently, overwinter underground, in the nest, but I believe that they usually are fully formed and hatched by the time the winter cold hits. I’d be interested in sightings of small sliders in Washington, particularly if they are obviously less than 4 inches across the carapace. And, Dennis, I’ve been digging out my old slides of the Oregon spotted frog specimens from the Slater Museum collection… and scanning them. Amazing how much federal listing increases interest in an animal. Kelly McAllisterOlympia, Washington
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