Blanding’s Turtles: Appearance and Behaviors

We’ve had Yertle and Bowser now for two months and in that time period, they have changed dramatically.  Please respond to the following two questions: (by Friday)

Yertle -aka Turtle 101 on November 1st

1.  Write a physical description of Yertle.  Make sure you use “juicy” words to describe this Blanding’s turtle’s physical attributes.  Describe Yertle’s carapace (upper shell). Why do you think this carapace color may be helpful in the wild?  What do you think are the function of Yertle’s claws?  Also, describe the turtle’s plastron



2.  Watch the video about the turtles yesterday in their tank after it was cleaned.  Then, describe some of the behaviors that you see in the video.  What do you think they are doing and why do you think they are behaving in this manner?  Describe how they move as well.


54 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by EC. 10 on November 3, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    1> I think that the turtles have gotten a lot bigger than when we first got them and I think they got spots on their neck I think that’s another way I can tell they’re blandings turtles. I think their claws have gotten sharper because when we were in Great Meadows turtle #334 had sharper claws than Nacho and turtle #334 was older than Nacho.


  2. Posted by EC4 on November 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I think yertle’s shell is like a big pattern of the same repeating shapes. I think it might be helpful in the wild because it will blend in with the soil or pile of sticks. It is protective and hard for anything to try to hurt it. I notice that he/she has long claws and from the angle it looks like he/she has 3 or 4 of them. Yertle’s plastron looks like a tree and I was thinking it might look like that because he is from the wild.


  3. Posted by EC-8 on November 3, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    1. Yertle’s carapace is very detailed with hexagons and stripes surrounding them. The color of Yertle’s carapace is greenish gray and white. The claws are used in many different ways, like for self-protection and getting food unstuck from its mouth. The claws are very sharp so it can hurt other animals when it feels in danger. The plastron is like the carapace, except for it has no hexagons. Instead of hexagons there are triangles and rectangles.

    2. The turtles were climbing on top of each other. They were also using their claws to scratch at their tanks. I think they were doing this because they were sort of wrestling each other to be the one that’s more in control. Bowser climbed on Yertle and that pushed Yertle underwater until Yertle finally shook Bowser off his back. I think they are the same gender because it is more common for siblings of the same gender to fight.


  4. Posted by ec12 on November 3, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    1)I think that Yertle’s shell looks like a cheetah hide. Also I think that he has a dark body to blend in with reeds and swamp trees.
    2)I think at first Yertle and Bowser are trying to get on the rock but at the 1:00 minute line Bowser trys to piggy-back Yertle onto the rock. 1 minute 20 seconds later he falls off and stops trying to get on.


  5. Posted by EC4 on November 3, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    The way the turtles were acting reminds me of when my brother and I used to wrestle. (We stoped that when he sat on my face and my tooth came out.) In the video they were on top of eachother and both trying to get to the rock at once. They were mostly swimming but they were walking in the shallow water. I don’t know why or what they were doing it for but I think it was because they both wanted to get to the purple rock


  6. Posted by ec19 on November 3, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    1. The turtle’s carapace is covered with brown hexagons with white outlines and black dots. Their chin is yellow. Their eyes are black. Their plastron yellow with black triangles and rectangles. They also have sharp-looking claws. They also have a short, gray tail. I think they might have been those colors to help them camouflage in the wild, because I have seen those colors in the wild more a lot common then other colors.
    2. In the movie the turtles were piling on each other. I think they might have been trying to get on top of the purple rock. Or they might have been trying to uses each other as a rock. When the swim they move all four legs as if they’re trying to push the water aside. They also scrape the purple rock sometimes. When one turtle climbs on to an others back, the turtle on the bottom kicks and swims fast trying to get the other turtle off.


  7. Posted by EC13 on November 3, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    1. We all know the turtles are growing,weighing, eating more.Well if I have to describe the shell I would say
    that the base color is yellowish-greenish and has black spots on it so it looks like a jaguar.And the color will really blends with the dark plants near vernal pools and swamps I sometimes can’t find them in the tank!
    Function of the claws- Now what I think is their claws are like our nails.Imagine not having nails so it’s the same thing for them.And it helps them to climb rocks and to dig burrows in the ground and many more things.

    2. Since they are brothers or sisters they like to play and have fun and horse around.Since we had just cleaned,rearranged the tank I noticed that they are very hyper at the first 30 or 40 minutes so maybe that’s why their behavior was like that.Also if you look carefully you’ll notice that in shallow water they use their claws to push themselves.


  8. Posted by ec1 on November 3, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Yertle has gotten extremly bigger his carapace is like a tessellation.The yellow line under his throat tells you he’s a blandings turtle.I think his carapace color will be good in the wild because it’s the color of a tree so he could blend in.I think his claws are sharper because at the beginnig of school I looked and they were pretty dull.I also noticed they looked like brothers fighting over a toy.


  9. Posted by EC5 on November 3, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Turtle Descriptions
    I think the shell got really really hard and got all toughen up. I also notice that the shells have patterns. The carapace’s line is a blue like color. I think that the carapace is useful because in the wild it really can protect the Blandings Turtle. Their claws are really getting sharp and getting hard.The plastron is like the carapace because the the plastron is black and white and the plastron has patterns.

    The turtle behaviors and movements
    Yerttle moves really fast compared to Bowser. The turtles are usually away from each other. Yerttle is usually on the deep side under the tree tunnel and Bowser is usually on the shallow part blowing air bubbles and snapping at them.
    That’s how I observed them.


  10. Posted by ec3 on November 3, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    I think Yertle looks like a tiger with black and yellow strips. Yertle also looks like a lily with rotting leaves. The brown and black helps to camouflage the turtle it prevents the turtle from being found in the mud and water. Yertle uses his/her claws to climb out of the water. If there is river erosion it will make it difficult for him/her to get out of the water. In the video I saw Bowser climbing on top of Yertle’s back. It looked like Bowser and Yertle were playing with each other. The turtles swim like this push, glide, push, glide, push, glide and so on.


  11. Posted by EC4 on November 3, 2010 at 11:19 pm



    • Posted by EC4 on November 3, 2010 at 11:24 pm

      (That is for all of the people that sent a reply to me)


      • Posted by EC6 on November 4, 2010 at 12:38 am

        1) I think Yertle’s shell resembles a rotting lily.I think it is so he can blend into his natural habitat and stay away from his would-be predators.His carapace is the murky color of swamp water. That probably helps him camaflague while he swims in his natural surroundings.I think Yertle’s claws (I belive 5 in front and 4 in back, according to the picture) serve the purpose of digging and possibly defending himself against predators. His plastron is yellow and has 12 yellow shapes
        (8 triangles and 4 rectangles)

        2) Yertle and Bowser remind me of a game me and my sister play where we wrestle( and I’m always Bowser) I think Bowser was on top of Yertle for one of 3 reasons.
        1) Maybe Bowser was using Yertle as a stool to get on the rock.
        2) Bowser might have just wanted to play with someone.
        3) They might have been fired up from being in their mini-tanks.

        If I could speak turtle I’d ask which was right. What do YOU think?

      • Posted by E-4 5 on November 4, 2010 at 7:48 pm

        Your welcome

    • Posted by EC6 on November 3, 2010 at 11:54 pm

      You are very welcome.


      • Posted by EC. 10 on November 4, 2010 at 8:45 pm

        Nice job ec6 yours was really laid out and you described the claws very well. I bet he could protect himself especially if it was a fish or small predators.

  12. Posted by EC7 on November 4, 2010 at 12:45 am

    1) Yertle’s shell is the same shape just getting repeated along the carapace. In the fall when all the leaves drop and they are outside they would camouflaged with the nature. That is one of the reasons why their shell is helpful to them. Bowser’s and Yertle’s claws are getting longer and sharper and that means more scratching!!!!!
    2) In the video as Yertle tries to climb up on the rock, Bowser comes and attacks, but then Yertle gets back at him and flips him over. I think this is very interesting behavior but then they are brothers.


  13. Posted by ec14 on November 4, 2010 at 1:02 am

    1. I think the back of Yertles shell looks like lots of trapezoids. I think the color of Yertles carapace would help him blend in to the wild. I think the function of Yertles claws are to help him hold on to stuff. The color of Yertles plastron is yellow with black shapes that look a little bit like a trapezoid.

    2.Yertle and Bowser were climbing on each other right next to a rock. They were probably just playing but they might have been fighting. Their arms and legs were moving fast and they moved pretty quickly.


  14. Posted by ec15 on November 4, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    1. I think Yertle is trying to climb the rock then jump off of it like a diving board like Yertle usually does the shell looks like green fireworks on each shape the bottom of the shell looks like a skeleton and shapes I think the shell is green because it helps the turtle blend in in the wild I think the claws help the turtle swim 2. I think that the turtles are behaving this way because there was a different rock first Yertle was there then Bowser saw it then swam over then they started fighting over it Bowser swam on top of Yertle I think because Bowser wanted to climb the rock then jump off and probably that was what Yertle wanted to do they moved with their webed hands pushing back the water and they moved.


  15. Posted by EC. 10 on November 4, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    2> I think Yertle and Bowser are fighting over the rock because that was the highest rock in the area with the light so maybe they both wanted to be closer to the light so they could bask more. But they could have just been wrestling with eachother for fun because they were bored.


  16. Posted by EC20 on November 4, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    1.Yertle’s long neck is honey-mustard yellow color. Yertle’s carapace is the color of dark caramel with coffee bean brown spots. Its plastron has some spots that are burnt toast brown in color, and others that are moon cream. These features are helpful in the wild because if Yertle was hiding in the dirt a predator (such as a raccoon) would have a hard time finding him. The claws that Yertle has are very helpful in the tank and they would be very helpful in the wild because if Yertle was climbing up a hill it would help him grip the loose soil and pebbles.

    2. I think Bowser and Yertle were behaving this way because Bowser thought Yertle was trying to escape since the exit was over the rock. Bowser wanting to be the first to escape into wild was trying to push Yertle out of the way (the hard way) so he could escape first – the way only brothers will do. A more logical response is I think they could be acting this way because they are the same gender. The way they swim is kind of interesting to me as they can resemble a dog doing the doggy paddle because their heads are above the water and they kick frantically.


    • Posted by EC18 on November 4, 2010 at 11:12 pm

      I loved how you described Yertle’s neck. I liked how you made the comparison of a dog doing the doggy paddle. You really were descriptive, the color of dark caramel with coffee bean brown spots, some spots that are burnt toast brown in color, and others that are moon cream. I really think it is awesome! (My sister thinks so too. She loves it.)


      • Posted by EC20 on November 7, 2010 at 12:54 pm

        Thanks so much for your reply! I love how you described his carapace with black speckles and a light dirt brown back round.

  17. Posted by EC18 on November 4, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    1. Yertle’s carapace has black speckles with a light dirt brown back round. Yertle’s neck is a sunny yellow. I don’t mean to copy EC20, but its plastron is exactly like burnt toast. Or like burnt something. Yertle’s carapace can help him/her in the wild because it’s pretty much the color of bark and tree trunks. It might help him/her hide from predators like raccoons and other things because it might seem like Yertle dissolves into Yertle’s surroundings.
    2. I think that Yertle and Bowser were behaving this way because one of them thought the other was trying to do something, escape, simply look, something. Of course, the other one wanted to be like, “Don’t you do that, I’M the one that came up with the idea,” and then that was when Bowser (maybe Yertle, no idea) climbed up onto Yertle and Bowser had a ride. Maybe Bowser was waiting for Yertle to move closer to the purple rock so he/she could climb on it, but I don’t know. They both reminded me of my sister when she was trying to learn how to swim. Once you got the hang of it, you were fast. I don’t mean that her arms and legs went like Yertle and Bowser’s did, but you know what I mean. Yertle and Bowser’s legs and arms looked like a dog’s arms and legs when a dog would be swimming.


  18. Posted by ec9 on November 4, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    1. I think that their shells look like an array of squares. The color of the squares are brown which would help them fit in the wild life. The brown would blend in with the dirt on the ground and the rocks. Their claws are becoming more noticeable. The claws help them grip onto items and climb up onto rocks. The plastron is outlined by yellow with brown fill-ins. The middle of the plastron looks like an ant.
    2.I think the turtles are behaving in the manner in the video because one wants to have a piggy back ride. I do not think they are fighting over a purple rock near them. They want to play just like kids want to play. They are using their claws to grip things like children use their hands to climb. They used their claws to grip each other.


  19. Posted by ec21 on November 4, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    1. The pattern of colors on his upper shell looks like trapezoids. The color of his carapace will help him blend into the wild. His claws are useful for climbing rocks and other big things. The plastron looks like a tree.

    2. I think that Bowser wanted to get more light and thought Yertle was a moving rock. Or, it’s possible Bowser wanted some water and get more light at the same time. Maybe he wanted to go on the purple rock first, and changed his mind instead staying on Yertle.


  20. Posted by EC2 on November 5, 2010 at 12:14 am

    I think that the turtle’s shell protects them in the wild because their shells blend into the rocks (with the exception of the purple rock). And their claws are small enough to fit into small places to get a worm maybe.
    Yertle’s carapace looks like it was hand painted onto his shell and his plastron looks like his carapace except dressed up as a ghost for Halloween and still hasn’t taken it off.
    In the movie it reminds me of me and my brother fighting and he just tackled me and I’m trying to wiggle my way out but can’t manage it.
    When Yertle and Bowser swim it looks like a more graceful version of the doggy paddle.


  21. Posted by riveredge on November 5, 2010 at 12:31 am

    You all did an excellent job with your observations as well as commenting on each other’s comments. I’m proud of you!

    Mrs. E


  22. Posted by ec17 on November 5, 2010 at 1:22 am

    1) I noticed that Yertle’s shell has gotten bigger and it has gotten a little bit more detailed and lighter in the color. I think Yertle’s claws are bigger than what they were when we got them because at Great Meadow I got to hold a year old turtle named Natcho and a turtle that is at least 48 years old and her claws were sharperthan Natcho’s.

    I think that the colors will help them camouflage in the wild so it can protect themselves and they would probably blend in with a log or something like that.

    I think the claws are used for protecting themselves when an animal comes by.

    2) I think Bowser is using Yertle to give him a boost to get on the rock. In the movie I saw Bowser climbing on Yertle’s back. It looked like Yertle was giving Bowser a piggy back ride. When Yertle and Bowser swim, they look like they’re doing the front crawl/freestyle.


  23. Yertle has big, sharp claws and webbed feet. He has yellow eyes and circle black pupils. They both have gotten big especially Bowser in the beginning of the school year. But Yertle lately has been growing close to Bowser. Yertle’s shell has to looks like it has a lot of fur on it. It may help it in the wild to disguise itself as another animal. The function of his claws is… well i don’t know. The plastron looks like a human skeleton.


  24. Posted by ec11 on November 5, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    1. Some things that I have noticed about Yertle are that a lot of the time in his tank, he is either under the log or pushed up on the glass and trying to get out. Yertle’s carapase has gotten a lot more detailed as Yertle has grew older. It kind of looks like a cheetah shell because of the little brown spots. I think the color of his shell would be helpful in the wild because it definitely blends in with logs and such. Also the little lines and spots on his cacapace kind of look like tree bark. Yertle’s plastron almost looks like a whole ribcage because the color is split up into little white lines and little blackish areas. I think Yertle’s claws are for protection because when we pick them up to feed them they always try scratch us and the bigger turtle tryed to scratch us and it kind of hurt. I also think the claws are also for when they get older because ( if Yertle is a girl ) they will have t dig a nest to lay their eggs in.
    2. I thought it was really funny that the turtles were fighting over the purple rock! It kind of reminded of when my brothers tackle each other. Ii think they were in a way trying to help each other and in a way they were trying to get on the rock first. I noticed that when Bowser was on top or Yertle, his tail was not up and ready to go, I think he was scared. I thought it was very funny that they on top of each other trying to get on the rock first.


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