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Posted by bloomindaedalus on May 02, 2003 at 18:32:27:
In Reply to: Odd Coloration? Looks like a typical three-toed to me! posted by rnrlesnar on May 02, 2003 at 17:05:41:
The "hole in the shell" thing comes up quite often if you have encounters with lots of pet trade turtles. Occassionally wild caught ones are found this way. In some places turtles are "tethered" by means of drilling a hole (yes with a DRILL)into the rear of their carapace and tying a string through it which is then secured elsewhere. This is done with aquatic turtles which are to be sold but need to be kept in a body of water from which they might escape while they await transport. I have seen many mata matas arrive in the States this way. I have not heard of this more thna twice with box turtles though i have included a link to an interesting article which mentions this phenomenon. (unfortunately this article though writen by a well-known and respected scientist mentions the name of a well known and respected (in so far as animal and pet trade ethics go)
reptile dealer. I feel the choice on the part of the author was poor in mentioning the name of this person. the article is interesting nonetheless)
There are of course also many cases of turtle being shot with be be guns, pistols and even shotguns (in fact this last weapon seems more popular) and so everything from small holes to totally destroyed animals are found every year by pond and streams. I have seen this many times in the field.
Certainly turtles do get caught in fishing hooks but this usually efects the head more thna the shell, though i suppose its not of ouf the question for a softshelled turtle.
I don't know of any documneted cases of wild turtles with "natural" holes in their shells, but there are many cases in which a captive animal with some type of "shell rot" as the various causes of shell degeneration get called, has developed a hole in the rear marginal scutes.
If anyone else knows of any other ways the holes get there i'd be interested in hearing about them.