The Lake Project: A Dead Baby Turtle?

I was walking around the lake with Raymond this past week and at every spot we could get close to the water we would walk down to look for frogs. While scouring the water for movement, he spotted a tiny, un-moving turtle in the water. He reached in and picked it up, and after two seconds of looking, declared that it was a toy. I asked to see it anyway and while I was examining it up close, a horrible smell of rotten fish hit my nose. It was in fact a dead baby turtle that had just been floating on top of the water.


This is a picture of the deceased baby turtle on a rock with Raymond’s finger for scale.

The turtle is another Midland Painted Turtle like the one that I showed a photo of two weeks ago. This baby turtle’s carapace (shell) was soft and could have easily been squished between my fingers. I placed it on the rock (pictured above) because neither of us wanted to hold it for any longer as it smelled quite terrible. I do not want to have a dead turtle in the finished catalog, so I did not focus on getting high quality pictures which is why these images are not to my normal standard.

What we then noticed was the tiny bit of slime growing out of the turtle’s eyes. In this photo you might be able to see it better than in the previous:


The turtle’s head was covered in slime and it protruded from its eyes.

After trying to scrape it off, it became clear that it was stuck hard and fast where it was. We began to wonder if this had anything to do with the turtle’s death. When I got back from the lake, I tried to do some research online to determine what the slime was and if it could have caused the turtle’s death. Sadly, I found absolutely no information about what this could have been. However, I will keeping looking and if I find anything, I will update the post.

Until next time,



4 thoughts on “The Lake Project: A Dead Baby Turtle?

  1. wbdrisco

    I’d be curious to see what your research turns up in regards to this poor turtle’s death. Whoever is killing these babies needs to be stopped, and fast. All jokes aside, is it possible that human behavior (i.e. waste) is responsible?

  2. ainsleybruton

    Now I’m really curious about the slime stuff too! I think it is interesting that you chose to do your post this week on this particular incident, even though finding a dead turtle doesn’t further your research very much. I’m assuming you do a lot of work each week, and have lots of experience and take lots of pictures at the lake. What made this instance stand out? Was it just the small tragedy of finding a dead baby turtle, or the mysterious slime substance? Or something else entirely?

  3. yanwenxu

    It’s always fun to read your posts and I can see that you really incorporate the link to the background information of those species in your blog! I’m curious about what kind of result or analysis can you generate from the species you found around the lake?


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