Readers’ wildlife photos

We have turtles today—turtles all the way down! Reader Joe Dickinson sent photos and descriptions on May 24:

I missed World Turtle Day [May 23].  Here is what I should have sent.

First, some slider turtles (Trachemys scripta) from near Charleston, SC, where they are native and from Santa Cruz, CA, where they are invasive.  The latter are the red-eared subspecies (elegans).

Next, a selection of green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) beginning with a mating pair in the surf in the Galapagos.

A juvenile in a turtle rescue center on Moorea, French Polynesia.

A visitor to a turtle cleaning station off Maui.

And another rising into nice sunlight after visiting that station.  Scrape marks are visible in the algae on the shell.

Finally, several shots of Galápagos tortoises (Cheloniodis nigra complex), starting with some youngsters from the captive breeding program at the Darwin Research Station.

Lonesome George (now deceased), last survivor of his species [Chelonoidis abingdonii; George died in 2012]:

A minor squabble, also at the Darwin Station.

Wild tortoises grazing in a field.

Tortoise scat (a first for your site?)

Several tortoises looking like stepping stones in a pond.

Preceding were indeed wild, free ranging tortoises, but the setting (basically a pasture) did not seem authentic.  Here is a scan from a slide taken high up on Alcedo Crater, Isabela Island, in 1989 after a long, hot dusty hike.


  1. Posted July 5, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    In 1997, I visited the Galápagos, went to the Darwin research station and saw turtle friskiness in a marine lagoon.

    In related linguistic news, a miscellany of scat definitions… You’re welcome.

  2. Kevin
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    In twenty five years of going to Hawaii the frequency of seeing turtles has increased quite a bit.

  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Yay for turtles & tortoises!

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted July 5, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      I agree! Turtles and tortoises are cool!

  4. claudia baker
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    The ‘stepping stones in a pond’ is wonderful.

  5. DrBeydon
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Turtles and tortoises are cool, large or small. I also like the stones in the pond pic a lot.

  6. busterggi
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Even Gammera had to start somewhere.

  7. Lars
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Greatly appreciate the chelonians.

    I used to be caretaker for a half-grown Galapagos tortoise, so seeing tortoise scat took me back a few years.

  8. Mark R.
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    These are really cool. I don’t think such a wide array of turtles have been posted on RWP. I submitted turtle pics the day after World Turtle Day which PCC(e) graciously posted. These put mine to shame though. 🙂

  9. jeffery
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE turtles! Had several box turtles when I was young and they got to where they’d eat out of my hand- I read about a man who had a fenced-in backyard with numerous box turtles; when he went to give them “treats”, he’d walk out and stamp his foot and they’d come “running” from all corners of the yard. If he was slow in delivering, they’d climb up on his shoes and scratch at the laces.
    I have a, “scat-story”; perhaps I’ve told it here before- in that case, it’s a “re-run”:

    A hiker was in the outfitter’s store, preparing for a backpacking trip into the wilderness. He asked what was available to repel bears, and the clerk said, “We sell these little strings of bells you can hang on your pack; they let the bears know you’re coming so you don’t startle them.” The man purchased a few, then, as he was leaving, asked, “How can you tell if you’re in ‘bear-country’?” The clerk said, “Well, you keep your eyes open for bear scat.” The man asked, “How can I tell if it’s bear scat?” The clerk said, “It’s the scat with little bells in it.”

  10. Diane G.
    Posted July 7, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    What a lot of chelonian encounters these pics represent! I’m most envious. 😉

    Srsly, thanks for the contribution, Joe. Fascinating shots!

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