Monday, August 24, 2009


Animal amputees always amaze me - they adapt so quickly and use whatever prosthetics they're given with such ease. There have been elephants with new legs, dolphins with replacement tails, a stork with a prosthetic beak and even turtles, which are just a delight...

It'd be so nice to just whip up a little epoxy, stick on some ping pong balls and go! Now who says turtles are slow?


FatWhiteMan said...

There is a three legged buck running around my property. He's a nice 8 pointer but I won't take him. He seems to get along just fine with his missing rear leg.

Murphy's Law said...

Adaptability comes with time, but I sure hope that they've got those critters on some decent pain drugs, because they were essential to me when I lost a leg a few years ago. Now I run ten miles at a stretch and climb mountains, but for a few months there, drugs were my friend.

And have you ever tried to learn to speed-draw a pistol from a holster when you're on crutches? Not fun.

NJT said...

Maybe it's my suspicious nature that makes me ask this question. But, Can't turtles pull their legs inside their shell? Isn't that the whole point of being a turtle?

Turk Turon said...

Heard a great story about a guy's beloved hunting dog. It was seriously injured after being struck by a car. The vet told the guy the femur was shattered beyond repair and it was best to euthanize the dog, but the guy said, "I don't care what it costs, just keep that dog alive." The dog lived, and eventually learned to walk, and then to run, without a femur. The dog just learned to use his leg muscles to compensate for the missing bone.

Glenn B said...

It is surprising that a box turtle of that size would have its legs ripped off by a racoon of any size. Not only can they retract into their shells, but Box Turltes can also close the front portion of their shells due to the plastron being hinged. It is possible. Makes me wonder if it really was a racoon. I suppose it could have been, they are quite wily, though just hard to beleive.

All the best,

Revolver Rob said...

He does appear to be a Terrapene ornata ornata, which would mean that he is a true "box turtle". Yes, it would be unusual for him to not be able to fully retract his head and limbs and closed his hinged plastron. However, large specimens can sometimes not fully close. It is also quite possible that something else removed his legs, perhaps if he did any swimming, it might happen to him.

Not ALL turtles are box type in North America, so not all can retract limbs and head fully to within in the carapace.

You never get a really good look at his plastron though, so he might not in fact be a box turtle. Althought, he carapacial pattern and coloring indicates that he is.


Glenn B said...

Not only the carapace is a give away that this is a box turtle but so are the head and the red eyes, most likely a male, if we are seeing the true color. There are no other turtles in the USA (or world for that matter) that comes close in appearance to the North American box turtles to be that close of a look alike. The only difficult determination would be the species of box turtle; but you are right in that it does look like an ornate box turtle.

All the best,