ID Help? I think it's a slider...

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Grover Brown
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ID Help? I think it's a slider...

Post by Grover Brown » April 1st, 2015, 6:15 am

Hey guys,

Happy April Fools.

So South Mississippi continues not to disappoint. The weekend's weather was so nice, I got out turtling in a stream just south of town, and my roommate came as well with a fishing pole in tow.

After walking the stream for a bit, we did in fact find this slider (Trachemys scripta), twice. But we didn't see too much else.
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As we were about to get out of the stream I saw what looked like a log buried in the sand, then I thought it was a discarded/old shell, but I found this very much intact guy buried below. An absolutely incredible specimen of Macrochelys temminckii

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Have a good one,
Grover

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Berkeley Boone
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Re: ID Help? I think it's a slider...

Post by Berkeley Boone » April 1st, 2015, 9:55 am

Are you for real? I hope so- that is awesome.
Great photos, and magnificent creature! It is a beast!
--Berkeley

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mtratcliffe
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Re: ID Help? I think it's a slider...

Post by mtratcliffe » April 1st, 2015, 5:25 pm

Now that's something you don't see every day! Congrats on the find - that thing is a beast!

Tamara D. McConnell
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Re: ID Help? I think it's a slider...

Post by Tamara D. McConnell » April 2nd, 2015, 3:31 am

Wow! Congratulations on a great find!

Jim Godwin
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Re: ID Help? I think it's a slider...

Post by Jim Godwin » April 2nd, 2015, 12:52 pm

Nice male Macrochelys; looks like a male based on the thickness of the base of tail (1st photo). In the second photo you can see the diagnostic supramarginals.

Yesterday floated ca. 10 miles of Brushy Creek in the Bankhead Nationl Forest and the Graptemys pulchra were out in good numbers.

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Noah M
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Re: ID Help? I think it's a slider...

Post by Noah M » April 2nd, 2015, 3:54 pm

Well hot dang that is cool! Good thing you found it with your eyes and not your feet. I always wonder if one of those things would snap at your toes....or snap them off....

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BillMcGighan
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Re: ID Help? I think it's a slider...

Post by BillMcGighan » April 2nd, 2015, 5:25 pm

Good dinosaur catch!!

Big Congrats.

Carl D. May
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Re: ID Help? I think it's a slider...

Post by Carl D. May » April 3rd, 2015, 3:47 am

Awesome find Grover! Agree with Jim about the sex being male...the tail and also size give him away. Females almost never--if ever, grow that big.

Jim Godwin
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Re: ID Help? I think it's a slider...

Post by Jim Godwin » April 3rd, 2015, 6:13 am

This snapper is an old individual. The carapace is worn, he's developing that yellowish coloration on the head, he's lost tubercles on the head and neck. Most alligator snappers that I've caught have had numerous small tubercles on the head and neck and a fringe around the eyes. I think these adornments aid in crypsis for the turtles. I wonder about the health of this turtle. His right forelimb is puffy as is the area around the eye. Any indication of poor water quality in this stream?

Marking these guys is easy. Because of the thickness of the shell you can place #8 stainless steel screws in the marginals in a unique combination. A portable drill with a 1/8" drill bit is needed to start a hole then the screw can go in. One individual I captured and marked in 2004 was recaptured in 2012 - http://www.outdooralabama.com/angler-ho ... c-surprise

Grover Brown
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Re: ID Help? I think it's a slider...

Post by Grover Brown » April 3rd, 2015, 8:35 am

I'll attach a few more photos, Jim, regarding the leg. It looked just like jelly rolls to me when I found it. I think in the picture it's just the angle I'm holding it making it bulge, but maybe not. It's apparently common practice to toss deer and turkey carcasses off of bridges down here. This guy wasn't too far upstream, I imagine at the right time of year, he is very well fed.

As for the eye, that was something I noticed immediately, but the eye itself didn't seem cloudy or otherwise infected, just the area around it was puffy. I thought maybe this would be characteristic of old individuals? The water quality in this stream is seemingly really nice. It basically comes out De Soto National Forest, has a fantastic buffer, and great fish diversity. There is a railroad bridge a bit further down that wreaks of creosote. I've found 2 dead fish in this stream. 1 bass, an 1 Etheostoma of some sort, and some sickly minnow-esque fish I caught barehanded. It is kind of weird to see that all in one small section of stream.

We are trying to find this individual again to mark and get genetics on, but we've been out twice more and not seen it. We did see what looked like a drag up to the bank from another large individual a few hundred meters downstream (not typical behavior, I know, but I can't think of anything else that would leave a trail like this).

Here are a few more pictures. Let me know what you think regarding the health of this animal.

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Mike VanValen
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Re: ID Help? I think it's a slider...

Post by Mike VanValen » April 3rd, 2015, 6:09 pm

That's something I've wanted to see since I was reading field guides as a kid.

...the Alligator Snapper is cool, too! :lol:

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