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It’s All About the Shell

What makes a turtle a turtle? There are a few other things that differentiate turtles from their reptile relatives, but, really, it’s all about the shell. A turtle’s shell is made up of expanded ribs that have fused together into bone plates. The ribs give the shell its shape and are fused into the bone […]

No Breathing Necessary

Take a deep breath in and hold it. Keep holding it. How long can you go without breathing? Humans, and most other vertebrates, can survive only a few minutes without oxygen. Turtles need to breathe air just like us but, thanks to unique and remarkable physiology, they can hold their breath a really, really long […]

Rescuing Anoles

We get a call or two every year about an anole found here in northeastern New York. Green anoles (Anolis carolinensis) are native to the Southeast and brown anoles (Anolis sagrei) are native to Cuba and the Bahamas, although they have invaded the same range as green anoles and are now widely found there. The […]

The Earliest Turtles

Thanks to good fossil records, we know that turtles are some of the oldest vertebrates on Earth. They made their appearance during the late Triassic period, about 250 million years ago. They are part of the reptile family that includes crocodilians (alligators and crocodiles), who are their closest relatives, the dinosaurs, who they lived alongside, […]

Wood Turtle in the Bus

Earlier this month we processed our first wood turtle intake of 2021. While not yet on the threatened species list, wood turtles are of special concern in New York due to their declining numbers. Wood turtles are semi-aquatic and live in streams in woodland areas. They are the only freshwater turtle native to the Adirondacks […]

Baby Turtle Time

We’ve been having hatch parties in our incubators! During the month of August, almost 50 turtles hatched from eggs that had been incubated. Some of those eggs were recovered from nests in construction sites. The rest were laid by gravid turtles who came into our wildlife rehabilition center after being injured by cars. Those injured […]

Neverending Turtle Season

The northeastern part of the United States has had cool, wet weather throughout the summer so far. Whether it is due to high water levels in the lakes and ponds or the low overnight temperatures, our local turtles are behaving differently post nesting season. An unusual number of turtles, particularly males, are venturing onto the […]

Snapping Turtle Summer

The wildlife rehabilitation arm of our organization has never been as busy as we are this summer, and we have never had as many snapping turtles as we have currently. Snapping turtles can, of course, be a bit more challenging to care for than other turtle species, but we love them. Snapping turtles have a […]

Meet Grace, Rescue Turtle Ambassador

Grace arrived at Dancing Turtle Rescue just as the calendar was flipping to 2021 with Frankie, a yellow-bellied slider, and Leaf, an Asian leaf turtle. Grace is a Florida cooter, and all three turtles were being kept in crowded housing by caring folks who were unable to better provide for them. Many of our pet […]

The Turtle Bus Is Really a Bus

When Debbie told her husband about her desire to rehabilitate turtles, he looked around their already crowded house and asked, “Where are you going to put them?” It was a legitimate question, and one that Debbie had been asking herself. Then she looked out the window and remembered the bus. Why was there a bus […]