Saturday, April 27, 2013

DIAMOND(BACKS) ARE FOREVER ... I HOPE

This tiny baby Diamondback Terrapin was desperately trying to get into the school last week. One of our staff spotted him, nose to school door and legs a'going just before school started.

She swooped him up and sent him to me, at which point, I practically fell out of my chair.
A tiny diamondback terrapin!

He's so tiny, you would think he just hatched, and yet we are in early spring. I don't know enough about diamondback terrapin breeding (yet), but that seems like an early hatch.

I used to operate a sea turtle hatchery at Fort Matanzas National Monument and we always planned for 55 days gestation time. When I hatched Florida Cooter eggs several years ago, I found the same time span to be true for them too.

I can't imagine that diamondbacks lay eggs in the dead of winter, so this is probably a yearling from last year.

He's a pretty good muncher of pond snails. I have an abundance of them in my various ponds and tanks so he's eating well. I crush them between my fingers before dropping them into his tank and he goes to town on them.

Diamondbacks are an estuary species and for that reason, not often seen. I used to find them hibernating in the San Sebastion estuary during the winter when I was a kid, but that was a while ago.

This one is going to spend some time as an ambassador of his species and help me educate kids about his clan.

This little guy needs a name, so I'm open for suggestions.

17 comments:

rebecca said...

Don't know about terrapins, but I learned last year that some turtles, like the Painteds we have here, sometimes lay their eggs in the fall and the young overwinter in the nest before emerging early in the spring. Which explained how we were finding tiny baby painted turtles on the very first warmish days last year.

Sharon said...

He's a cutie! The first name that came to my mind was Jim...Diamond Jim ;-D

Sharon said...

Or, you could call him Brady, for Diamond Jim Brady.

threecollie said...

I had exactly the same thought as Sharon. What a spectacular little guy!

myamuhnative said...

I was hoping you were going to show us an ornate diamondback baby!
It would be intersting to hear what your students know about them already.
I was bummed to find out that so many die in crab traps.

Katherine Edison said...

What a lovely little feller! Tiny Tim Terrapin?

robin andrea said...

That's the cutest terrapin I've ever seen! What a wonderful find, and how lucky he is to be in your very capable hands (and heart!).

edifice rex said...

How cute!!! My first thought for a name was Lucy. You know, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.
Glad she found you!

Dawn said...

I love that little baby. Is it a male terrapin or female? Perhaps Marilyn? Or Munroe (more masculine)? After all "diamonds are a girls best friend..." Or Shirley or Bassey "diamonds are forever" from the James Bond Movie! Yeah I know....I'm showing my age.

pablo said...

or simply James Bond.

dinascitywildlife.com said...

So cute! Lots of great name suggestions. Since Crush is taken, I would vote for Scooter.

Ericka said...

i second scooter. SO adorable! and if s/he was so desperate to get into the school, maybe s/he was heading for you anyway? i can perfectly picture the little creature saying "i've always wanted to be an ambassador when i grew up."

Island Rider said...

Is it a boy or girl? If it is a girl, I would say, Hope, in reference to your title, but also to the Hope Diamond.

Wendy said...

He is cute!!! I think he looks like a "Killer". :)

Susan Humeston said...

How about "the Hulk"

Bruce Mohn said...

Here in NJ, there are diamondback terrapin clutches that hatch in August and emerge and clutches that apparently hatch in September, overwinter in their nests and emerge once the weather gets warm enough. I'd be curious to learn how many clutches your terrapins produce, given longer periods of warmth.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

TED the Terrapin - for your old SAHS science teacher :-}}