These are western pond turtles (Emys marmorata), California’s only native freshwater turtle. They are also tiny and adorable right after they hatch (yes I am a scientist I have data to prove this). 😀 These babies were incubated in their nests (at my field site), and the eggs were collected last week, so they could hatch in the lab. They’ll be raised for either one or two years at one of three local zoos, before being released back into the wild.
Western pond turtle. That protrusion on the belly is the turtle’s external yolk; this is normal, and will be absorbed into its body during the next few weeks.
I AM SCIENTIST therefore I record data on paper towels. What, doesn’t everyone do this?
Literally just hatched.
Our incubators. Reasonably low tech, but they get the job done. OH LOOK more paper towels.
Precious babby. They are so tiny when they first hatch. I’d say on average they’re about 4 to 4.5 grams. This one is not even 4 grams (although the one in the first photo was big – almost 6).