Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Open With Caution

Cuteness ahead. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

At the Zoo, March means the beginning of hatching season. Two weeks ago, I took pictures of this.

Look who's here! This is a Pyxis arachnoides brygooi from Madagascar.

Look who’s here! This is a Pyxis arachnoides brygooi from Madagascar.

 

I took this photo the same day. Most of these eggs are from three subspecies of spider tortoise.

Look at all those eggs!

Look at all those eggs!

Despite all being from spider tortoises, there is quite a difference in the size of the eggs. Sometimes the really, really little ones don’t hatch. Not always.

I call him Tater Tot. Because he's roughly the size of, well...

I call him Tater Tot. Because he’s roughly the size of, well…

He’s easily the tiniest brygooi I have ever seen. And he’s a feisty thing. When he was done with his photo session, he just walked away. Hiding in a shell is for weenies, right?

Small enough to fit in my pocket, but I won't.

Small enough to fit in my pocket, but I won’t.

 

How tiny is he? I’ll show you.

Gratuitous bellybutton shot! The tortoise on the left is the same subspecies and hatched only a day or so before.

Gratuitous bellybutton shot! The tortoise on the left is the same subspecies and hatched only a day or so before.

 

I’ll try to get some more shots for you today. Happy tortoise day!

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Denial Ain’t Just a River

For all intents and purposes, it’s Spring. But some I know are pretending they didn’t get the memo. Remember the Pyxis arachnoides brygooi from a few weeks ago? Their lights are on, the heat has been turned up. It’s time for wakey-wakey. I get a few subtle hints they’re not  quite ready.

 

Some of them are dug in more deeply now that they were a few months ago, like they’re trying to hit some kind of snooze bar. Click to enlarge.

And then there’s my favorite.  Cracks me right up!

Yeah, that's lunch to the right of her. She'd rather sleep than eat. I know the feeling, don't you? And those are some for serious sand piles! She was in a hurry!

Yeah, that’s lunch to the right of her. She’d rather sleep than eat. I know the feeling, don’t you? And those are some for serious sand piles! She was in a hurry to get back to bed!

Happy tortoise day!

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Over and Out!

We tend to think of tortoises as slow. And subject to the laws of gravity. Sometimes we’re wrong.

This species (Manouria impressa) is pretty good at climbing. But they don’t always stick the landing.

What are you looking at?

What are you looking at?

Nobody’s perfect, right?

Gratuitous belly button shot! Hatchling pancake tortoise. The umbilicus is the bright yellow patch. It is rapidly disappearing.

Gratuitous belly button shot! Hatchling pancake tortoise. The umbilicus is the bright yellow patch. It is rapidly disappearing.

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Not Just Me, Then?

It’s cold here. On miserable, frozen mornings, all I want to do is bury myself under the covers and not budge until Spring. Looks like I’m not alone.

This particular subspecies of Malagasy dwarf tortoise is ready for a long winter’s nap. I feel bad having to dig them out every week to soak them. They’ve been ready for bed for two months. And it’s not just the old guys.

These are the only kids I’ve ever seen who are just begging to take a nap.

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: A Fortune Cookie and a To-Go Box

Remember this guy?

Yep. That's a fortune cookie, alright.

Yep. That’s a fortune cookie, alright.

The next day, this is what it looked like.

That's its tail. When I touched it, the turtle would curl its tail up. I think it's ticklish.

That’s its tail. When I touched it, the turtle would curl its tail up. I think it’s ticklish.

I would show you a photo of the finished product, but I can’t. Because there are eight of them now, and I have no idea which is which. Eight. I was pretty wrong. And there are still a couple of eggs that might hatch. We’re almost at 50% as it is. Not bad considering their story.

Full to the top with cute? Ready for that to-go box? Coming right up.

I want to stick it in my pocket and take it home. I won't. No, really.

I want to stick it in my pocket and take it home. I won’t. No, really. Can you see that egg tooth.? It blows me away!

Here's your to-go box. Box turtle, that is. It hatched yesterday. It's an Eastern Box Turtle, Tennessee's state reptile.

Here’s your to-go box. Box turtle, that is. It hatched yesterday. It’s an Eastern Box Turtle, Tennessee’s state reptile.

Its plastron is completely different from the snapping turtles'. You can see the beginnings of some yellow, though it may take a few years for real color to appear. Note how its yolk is almost completely absorbed.

Its plastron is completely different from the snapping turtles’. You can see the beginnings of some yellow, though it may take a few years for real color to appear. Note how its yolk is almost completely absorbed.

This post is for my friend, sj. I hope she knows why. All the purty turtles to you, sj!

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Choosing a Surgeon

Managed care has made it difficult to find specialists when you need them. Sometimes insurance limits your options to just a handful of practitioners, so how do you choose a good one?

Look for a surgeon with good focus. The ability to concentrate is essential.

It takes a very steady hand.

It takes a very steady hand.

They get bonus points if they’re ambidextrous.

Gloves are encouraged but not required

Gloves are encouraged but not required

A willingness to really get in there and dig around is a plus. Operate big or go home, I say. Surgery ain’t for sissies.

Ignore the red light on the dude's nose. That's just a spleen. Or a liver. Or something non-essential.

Ignore the red light on the dude’s nose. That’s just a spleen. Or a liver. Or something non-essential.

This scalpel jockey is for hire.

This_knife's_for_hire

You could do worse.

With a bit of luck, you won’t hear what I heard at the end of this particular operation.

“This poor fellow’s dead.”

Sorry about that, little buddy. I’m pretty sure it’s not because you yanked out his heart with both hands.