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Little Aussie battler

October 31, 2013

Turtle with eggsA small excavator operating beside Rosemary’s house near Strath Creek recently turned up an unusual find, a newly-hatched Eastern Snake-necked Turtle (Chelodina longicollis) together with a clutch of about 6 or 8 eggs, some apparently unhatched, set in a clod of hard-packed clay about 20 cm below the ground surface. The bobcat operator showed the turtle to Rosemary who transferred it to an adjacent large ornamental pond which has lots of rushes and other water plants that will hopefully provide cover and food and ensure the survival of this little battler.
When we later inspected the remaining eggs they all appeared to be either broken open or unfertilised, and certainly no embryos remained. So this seems to have been the last straggler from the clutch. It was surprising how hard the soil was – it would have taken quite some digging to lay the eggs as deep as they were.

Click HERE to see a post from last year about another young turtle near Strath Creek, together with more information on its life cycle.

And if you’re wondering why this is called a turtle and not a tortoise, ‘freshwater turtle’ is now the preferred term to distinguish it from its sea turtle cousins and from the true tortoises found on other continents which are wholly terrestrial and have domed shells.

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