Remember the juvenile box turtle we found a couple of weeks ago? Well, I happened to check underneath the deck last week and – surprise! – it was there again.
This may be a coincidence, but it reflects what has been observed in several studies. The hatchlings often stay very close to the nest site until they grow enough that predators are less of a threat.
We did the usual measurements – not much growing to be done in a week. You can’t help but appreciate those little toenails.
They probably acted like tiny climbing hooks to hoist itself out of the nest. If it’s a female, these claws will straighten as she grows so she can sweep out a nest hole each summer. If it’s a male, they will become even more recurved to give it a “toehold” during mating.