Sunday, September 13, 2015

Current Pokémon, Future Kaiju

This evening, my friend Allie, who is one of our seasonal contract workers, found an awesome surprise on the paving stones outside our visitors' center:

That, dear readers, is a hatchling common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). The characteristic "Godzilla" tail is a dead giveaway. Given a couple of decades and a lot of luck dodging predators (in the immediate vicinity, I can think of raccons, great blue herons, bullfrogs, and larger turtles), this cute little critter could become a monster, with a carapace a foot-and-a-half long and weighing in at over twenty pounds. Sure, it's a cute little handful now, but it could take your finger clean off given time and growth. That being said, these suckers are only aggressive if they are bothered- in the water, they will avoid larger, threatening animals.

Allie dutifully transported this little turtle to the nearby pond and released it so it can have a chance of being the terror of the pond. With a time and luck, maybe one of us will be picking up and photographing one of its offspring.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I waded into the C&O canal once as a youngster (because that's the kind of thing I did) and took a big one out. She lived on our porch in a tub for a week. Then we took her back because that's where she belonged.

Now I take pictures and try to be less intrusive.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

We are so alike, old chum.