Monday, June 07, 2010

Alabama Red-bellied Turtle

Barbara Jackson, in Government Documents, found a rare Alabama Red-bellied turtle on the balcony outside the University Library last week. Dr. David Nelson, of USA's Biology department, came and retrieved the turtle. According to Dr. Nelson, "After being measured (extensively), weighed, and photographed to extreme, the lovely female turtle was released yesterday. Doubtless, she is happily feeding on swamp salad of submergent macrophytes."

"The Alabama red-bellied turtle is a large herbivorous turtle that has the smallest distribution of any North American turtle species. It only occurs in streams and embayments in the lower part of the Mobile Bay Drainage System in Mobile and Baldwin Counties in Alabama. This species was listed as ENDANGERED by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1987 and was designated as the Official State Reptile of Alabama in 1990." (

Dr. Nelson attached the following two photos of the University Library's Red-bellied turtle: