Pain Killer asked in PetsReptiles · 2 months ago

I'm getting these turtles in my yard, I'm not sure if it's the same turtle or a different one. Do the shell patterns ever change?

The last 10 years I'm getting turtles show up in my yard. Do their shell patterns ever change or are they like human fingerprints where no two are the same and they don't change ever? I've begun photographing them as of 7 years ago and they're definitely different patterns. Does this mean it's different turtles? Thanks for your help reptile section!!

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    These are American box turtles (genus Terrepene). Their shell patterns can change over time. As they grow older, the patterns can start fading. When they are first hatched, they are not as brightly patterned. Different individuals do tend to have different shell patterns. I think they are eastern box turtles. Google eastern box turtles and click on images and you can see many individual differences in color patterns. If 2 of them have drastically different color patterns, then they are almost certainly different individuals.

    • Pain Killer2 months agoReport

      Thank you for your help! 

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  • 2 months ago

    There may be slight changes due to injury or wear.. Or growth lines between the scutes. But the overall pattern shouldn't show significant change.

    Sounds like you may live near nesting grounds, or live in an area that has some favorable conditions for turtles to thrive.

    • Pain Killer2 months agoReport

      Hi and thanks for answering. I live near a huge swamp out in the middle of the country in NC. We're close to salt water marsh, fresh water swamp, bogs and tributaries. It's a real paradise for wild animals here. We've got everything from wild horses to alligators.

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  • oikoσ
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    There are changes due to injury or age but the latter are quite slow. Very clever of you to photograph them. It's not as efficient as marking them but it's a good mechanism for a long-term study.

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    • oikoσ
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      As long as the paint doesn't cover much of the shell, it's safe. That is used mostly for short-term behavioral studies. Studies that require trapping use claw-clipping or shell-notching. Neither has any permanent effect on the turtle.

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  • 2 months ago

    im pretty sure the shells dont change, u have multiple turtle friends

    • Pain Killer2 months agoReport

      Thanks I hope they keep coming back!

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