How a turtle grows

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How a turtle grows

For those who may wonder how turtles grows bigger. Turtles have hard shell (exoskeleton) on the outside. When turtles grow bigger, do their shell grow along too? Crabs have to wiggle out of their shell and hide for a few days for the 'soft', bigger, new shell to become hard. Prawns and shrimps do the same as crabs. The have to discard their old shell. Crams and mussels do not discard their shell but grow extensions to their same old shell.

OK back to turtles. We have rescued a baby fresh water turtle from under a mango tree. Some distance away from our dam. Usually mother turtles walked up some 10 metres away from the water - up the bank, dig a shallow hole, lay (5-6 centrimetres elongated round, white, shoft shell, 10-12) eggs. The eggs should hatch by the heat of late Spring/early Summer Sun in about 7-8 weeks. Baby turtles dig themselves out of the soil and walk down to the dam. We don't know why this baby turtle came up away from the dam. It apparently got lost.

We kept it and cared for it for a few months. We call it "Doctor Who" (after the hero of the famous long running series on BBC TV - remember the Dalat's incantations "Exterminate", "exterminate",...) because it always scramble here and there inside a box (like the TV Doctor Who scrambles in his phone booth.

We noted something happened. The turtle peeled off some scales!

We collected and arranged some scales on a paple model of a turtle.

Now we know how a turtle grows ;-)

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