Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Readers Write In: Spring has Sprung! What Are These Creatures?


It must be spring!

Hello Dr. David Steen,

My nephew found a turtle today that doesn't look like any of the turtles from our area. It has red color on the underside and a long tail, it is about 3 or 4" long. He found it in an area with a nearby creek. I looked on the web and found your name in an article about the Alabama Red Bellied Turtle. I'm in Gadsden, Alabama and was wondering if this could possibly be one of those turtles. I read that they are usually only in the Mobile/lower Mississippi area. Any information would be appreciated. I have attached a few photos

Thanks,

Michelle M.
Gadsden, Alabama

What kind of snake is looking at me? It shakes its tail when I get close but I don't see a rattle.

Matthew J.
Central Florida

Readers: What Are These Animals?
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Snake Identification Post Ground Rules

-Guesses are welcome and encouraged. Don't worry if you're not an expert, wrong guesses allow us to talk about how to distinguish between the various species and that's why I run these posts.

-If you can't explain why you think a snake is a particular species, go ahead and just say what you think it is. But otherwise please do let us all know how you identified the animal. If you're wrong, we can explain why. If you're right, this helps everyone learn how to identify snakes, which is the goal of these posts.

-You can safely assume that I know what kind of snake is in the picture, I run these posts because they are outreach opportunities. Please don't send me private e-mails with your guesses, include them below.

-Remember, the person that sent me the picture is probably reading your comments. Although it is frustrating to know that many of these snakes have been killed, these people do want to learn more about them. More snake knowledge will lead to fewer snakes being killed.

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