strange behaviors

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  • Richard Conniff writes about behavior, in humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither.

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The Monsters Are Wandering

Posted by Richard Conniff on June 3, 2014


I was out working on the dunes near my house on Long Island Sound when I noticed strange footprints, with a tail mark down middle.  It mystified me for a while.  Then I remembered. It’s June.  The snapping turtles are coming out of the water to lay their eggs.

I found a second trail 10 feet back from the first.  I forgot to notice the direction, but presumably it was Big Mama heading back to the depths.

A few years ago, I showed a British visitor a big female wandering on this exact spot and his eyes fell out of his head, as if I had just shown him a living dinosaur, which maybe I had.  The Brit, by the way, was the guy who produces the tv series “River Monsters.” So you’d figure he’d be a little jaded.  But snapping turtles are a sight.



2 Responses to “The Monsters Are Wandering”

  1. Ron Dass said

    This turtle was coming up out of Long Island Sound?! This is the 2nd time I’ve heard of this and I still have a hard time believing it. The first time was years ago I encountered a big snapper on the beach at Goddard Park In RI coming out of Narragansett Bay, I had thought that Snappers were strictly a fresh water turtle and couldn’t believe my own eyes. I put it down as a strange anomaly; maybe a lost turtle that was washed out of its river by the current. Does this mean snappers actually live in the near shore marine environment?

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