Oh my, it was great to be above freezing today. In fact on our first walk of the morning I didn’t use handwarmer. πŸ™‚ So the low was actually around midnight at 12F. The low for the morning walk was 15F. Ahh, much warmer. The afternoon walk was windy but above freezing at 42F.

Now for some turtles! What? In this cold weather? Some were just a shell of their former selves. LOL.

Last fall Jeanne and I came across this in a mostly dry creek bed. Immediately I knew it was not the typical pond turtle. The plastron (bottom) was not completely attached to the carapace (top shell) as a pond turtle would be.
An example of a Red-eared Slider shell found in November 2022.
The carapace had been covered in mud. We poured a bit of water to get a better look.
The water did not help. LOL.
The inside view. I could not leave it behind. It needed a bath. πŸ˜‰
When I got it home I dunked in a bucket of water. The plastron was surprisingly soft after letting it soak overnight.
So I set it out to dry!
Indeed it looked better cleaned up. The tough skin was still attached.
Then over the course of several weeks the shell began to break down.
The “teeth” that holds the plates together.
It really has broken apart after almost four months.

An alive Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) I saw in May 2022.

Now from up north below.

So did you know Red-eared Sliders can hold their breath for 25 to 30 minutes? Claire took this mp4 at a duck pond on the OU campus yesterday. And you know the ice was thick up there. Moreover I got to wondering about brumation. It is a state of inactivity done by cold-blooded reptiles.

Additionally I discovered that many pond turtles do something called cloacal respiration. Basically it’s like breathing through their butts. In fact they get the oxygen from water that moves over the cloaca which is covered in blood vessels. Check out this article: The secret to turtle hibernation: Butt-breathing.

Thanks Claire for sharing!

And the ice jam has broken. Indeed folks were getting outside today! Tomorrow I will share some their photos. Awesome ice photos!

The week in wildlife – in pictures: a freezing fox, a rescued hedgehog and a snake in the loo

Rare Event: Two Cicada Broods Emerge Together For First Time in 221 Years So it looks like the 13-year brood XIX was last seen in Cooke County and a few other Texas counties in 2011!

Scientists Film Plant ‘Talking’ to Its Neighbor, And The Footage Is Incredible

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know


  1. Love the turtles underwater video and the talking plants. So happy they’re finally learning about plants communicating.

  2. Wow how interesting about the turtles’ butt breathing. Very interesting article.
    As I looked at your turtle shell I first thought soft shell but realized that didn’t fit then wondered about snappers.

    1. Soft shell was my first thought too until I saw much height the carapace had. It would be interesting to find a soft shell for sure. πŸ˜‰

  3. Can’t wait for those cicadas! Banner year I suppose.
    Sure learned alot about turtles today – bromation and butt breathing. The 2 b’s. Won’t likely forget either soon.

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