Thursday, July 04, 2013

Spiny Softshell Turtle

I ran across this large guy in a shallow riffle on a larger tributary to the Kaskaskia River near Vandalia, Illinois. The third photo gives some perspective, since that is a normal, car-sized tire. He was only in a couple inches of water and wouldn't have been too hard to attempt to catch, but I decided to just watch him instead. After crossing the stream and climbing the bank, we looked back at the softshell. He stuck his head out of the water, looked around as if checking to see if anyone was watching, and then proceeded to twist and scoot in place until he was completely buried in the gravel and sand. His disappearing act made me contemplate previous times I have walked through shallow, clear water not thinking about buried monsters.

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