Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Eastern Snake-necked Turtle

Five Eastern Snake-necked Turtles (Chelodina longicollis) on a log on Yango Creek, a bit blurry... taken from quite a distance very quickly as they dive when they see you coming. The next shot, focussed and zoomed appropriately five seconds later, only showed the splash of the last one leaving.

I have a dam about 100m from the house which is populated by many turtles. However, I have not yet been able to get a photo of them as they submerge as soon as I get into view.

The are frequently seen on the road and I always stop and move them along when I see one as I can't stand to see them dead.

If you do pick one up to move it along, first be careful as they will spray a foul-smelling liquid from glands (giving them their nickname of "Stinker") so carry them low and with your feet wide apart.

Second, carry them in the exact same direction they were heading. If you alter their course they will likely go back onto the road as they are pretty particular about where they want to go and will deal with obstacles as they come up.

They can live for 50 years with the females laying 10-20 eggs up to three times a year. They are carnivourous, their diet consisting of insects, worms, tadpoles, frogs and small fish that they either swallow whole or shred with their front feet.

Refs: Australian Fauna, OzAnimals

1 comment:

  1. Peter, this is a very nice blog. I think if I read it every day you'll answer just about anything I want to know about our local wild life.