Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Painted Turtle comes to Call

Stuart rescued a painted turtle on the road -- cars are probably the greatest "predator" of turtles in this day and age, and the turtles will frequently come to the road because the soft gravel shoulders offer a handy place to dig a nest and lay their eggs.

The painted turtle is certainly one of the prettiest of our turtles. While it is quite common, it is on the "blue list" in Canada, which means it is on the watch list for habitat destruction in certain areas.

That's a shame, because these pretty, harmless little guys are really interesting. Their shells look like they were carefully hand-painted. They've got the most amazing ability to 'disappear' within their shells, not even their little nostrils protruding. They've got totally cool claws on their webbed feet.

With Erica holding our visitor, you can see the turtle is not overly big. They don't grow overly big. Not like the snapping turtle who is currently cruising the bay, visiting us at the Cook Out last week. Now there is a turtle of an impressive size.

Did you know that the sex of the baby turtles is determined by the temperature? It starts with their rarely seen and beautiful courtship ritual, when the male turtle swims to face the female nose-to-nose, and uses his comparatively hugely over-sized front claws to tickle her cheeks rapidly up-and-down in a vibratory manner, in about one-second bursts, with the "palms" of the forefeet facing outward. The female then uses her back feet to dig out a nest in sandy soil, and lays up to 15 eggs. Below 27 degrees C., the babies will be males. If it's hotter than that, the babies will be females (the girls are naturally hot!)

Turtles enjoy basking in the sun, whether male or female, because that's how they get their body temperature up enough to efficiently digest their food. Which, by the way, they won't eat unless they are under water. That's turtle manners...

Our little visitor got oohed and aahed over, then went back into the lake, and swam happily away.

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