Marking Turtles

Marking turtles at the Cedarburg Bog State Natural Area / University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Field Station Field Herpetology class.

All we found were painted turtles (Chrysemys picta). Some we found had been marked before by previous classes, some not, which gave us an opportunity to learn how to notch the marginal scutes to track individuals over time. Each scute represents a different number. Combinations of notching different scutes allows researchers to distinguish thousands of individuals. Notching the scutes like this doesn’t cause any harm to the little guys, except perhaps to their pride.

little painted turtle chomp angry mean mouth beak

notching marginal scute notch painted turtle terrapin dremel marking

marked painted turtle notch marginal scute

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