Tuesday, 30 December 2014
Mauremys leprosa is also known as the Spanish pond turtle or Mediterranean turtle. This turtle is an autochthonous species in the Iberian Peninsula, very common in the south of Spain. It is found in rivers and ponds and usually lives in large groups. They are carnivorous, they feed on other animals like frogs , insects, worms, small crustacean although they can sometimes feed on plants. They are excellent swimmers, very strong, fast turtles. Although they spend most of their time in the water, they can often be found lying in the Sun. They are poikilothermal animals and therefore need the heat form the Sun to regulate their body temperature. They have sexual dimorphism, that is the external anatomy of male and female is different. The male is slightly smaller than the female, they have a longer and wider tail and the lower part of the shell is slightly concave. Female´s are bigger than males, they have a thinner tail and the bottom part of the shell is flat.
Arturo Pérez has been doing excellent field work in River Pudio, near the school. He has been working on this project for various months. He has been taking samples of Mauremys leprosa, measuring, weighing them and labelling them. He has been able to see the growth rate of some samples. He presented all his data in the Science fair and also brought along two big sized turtles from River Pudio. All samples are carefully returned to their habitat by Arturo. We were able to observe the behaviour of these turtles, which are suprisingly strong and fast.
These turtles are affected by habitat destruction and introduction of exotic species. Arturo has experienced this, as a frequent visitor of River Pudio and a great observer of its fauna and flora, he has noticed the decrease in number of samples due to the road constructions nearby. Arturo has also studied the freshwater lobster or crayfish, very common in rivers in the area and has experienced seeing many dead samples since the roadworks started. He has often brought samples to the laboratory too.
Congratulations Arturo! You have a very mature and caring approach to your work.
In the photographs you can see some of the samples Arturo brought to the laboratory.
CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO OF THE TURTLES IN OUR LABORATORY.
Posted by S. Bastian