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Old 16 September 2009, 09:02 PM
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Icon06 Deformed Turtle

Comment: Got this from a colleague who wanted to include it in our newsletter about the dangers of plastic to wildlife. A debate ensued as to weather the band on the turtle was an accident or intentional.

Comment: A link to this picture came through on my Twitter feed today with the comment, "If you don't dispose of plastic properly, this may happen" - I was able to find the photo posted on a number of sites (just by googling "snapping turtle plastic band" but was unable to find anything concrete. It looks like a pretty unlikely scenario to me.

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Old 16 September 2009, 09:04 PM
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That doesn't look like any bit of household plastic I've ever disposed of. It looks more like a metal band of some sort.
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Old 16 September 2009, 09:10 PM
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How would something that small fit around the turtle to begin with?!
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Old 16 September 2009, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
How would something that small fit around the turtle to begin with?!
Turtles start off as tiny wee things compared to how big they can get. That looks like a snapping turtle, which are about one to one-and-half inches long when they come out of their eggs. I had a red-eared slider turtle whose shell was about an inch and a half long when I first got him. When he was killed about five years later he had grown to about 11 inches long.
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Old 16 September 2009, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenn View Post
Turtles start off as tiny wee things compared to how big they can get. That looks like a snapping turtle, which are about one to one-and-half inches long when they come out of their eggs.
I am fairly sure it is an aligator snapper, in fact, although the tail is not well visible. Sad, but apparently he has been healthy enough; it is hard to see scale but he looks like he has gotten to a decent size.
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Old 16 September 2009, 10:06 PM
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A friend saw something about this on Oprah a while back. I didn't see the episode, but on it, they attributed it to those rings that are around the necks of some brands of milk, after you break the seal.
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Old 16 September 2009, 10:42 PM
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Video clips of different turtles with similar problems: http://conservationreport.com/2009/0...-plastic-ring/
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Old 16 September 2009, 11:09 PM
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Peanut is somewhat famous here in Missouri.

ETA: I saw her a few years ago at the State Fair, and she seems to be doing quite well. She's an unofficial mascot for the state's anti-littering campaign.
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Old 17 September 2009, 12:59 AM
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You'd think that something like a soda can ring would just pop as she grew, though. Those things aren't that strong, are they? Also, can't they remove it now?
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Old 17 September 2009, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
You'd think that something like a soda can ring would just pop as she grew, though. Those things aren't that strong, are they? Also, can't they remove it now?
The picture of when she was found. The problem is, turtles grow fairly slowly. I've got a slider that was quarter sized when I got him six months ago; he's just now half-dollar sized. It's kind of like a tree growing in a fence line - it ends up growing around because it grows too slowly to break the wire. That, and those plastic rings are tough!
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Old 17 September 2009, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenn View Post
Video clips of different turtles with similar problems: http://conservationreport.com/2009/0...-plastic-ring/
/slight hijack/ This is the first time I have been truly glad to read the comments. Very short, funny ending./end/

DS got us in the habit of cutting six-pack rings to tiny pieces several years ago. Just in case, you know? I'm also glad our milk containers have a ring that breaks open and zips around instead of staying in an intact circle. That poor turtle!

ETA: Peanut's story said that some of his organs don't work right. I wonder if the turtle in the OP has more problems--its shell is more deformed than Peanut's.

Last edited by Menolly; 17 September 2009 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 17 September 2009, 03:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
I am fairly sure it is an aligator snapper, in fact, although the tail is not well visible. Sad, but apparently he has been healthy enough; it is hard to see scale but he looks like he has gotten to a decent size.
I just noticed this post. It's not an alligator snapper - they've got a very distinctive jagged upper shell, almost like sawteeth, which would be visible even with the deformity. It's just a plain ol' snapper.
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Old 17 September 2009, 03:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menolly View Post
ETA: Peanut's story said that some of his organs don't work right. I wonder if the turtle in the OP has more problems--its shell is more deformed than Peanut's.
There are some lung deformities, but she's expected to live as long as any other turtle. One of my coworkers used to work for the Department of Conservation's Stream Team, and I'm fairly certain she "knows" Peanut. I'll have to ask her tomorrow. I do know that despite being the computer teacher, she keeps a poster up of her all the time.
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