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Join the conversation: Spiny Soft-shelled Turtle
Pet Information: Spiny Soft-shelled Turtle
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"The first spiney shell turtle I found was on the shoreline of Lake Michigan in mid to late spring. It was about the size of a silver dollar. I doubted it lived there and there were gulls nearby so I brought him home. I called him a pancake turtle and found out from our nature center what he was. He lived outside in our old iron bathtub with a filter and fountain until it got cold, then I took him to our nature center where he lived for several years, but sadly died. Sometime after that I was again walking on the beach and found another one! Again he went into the bathtub and we enjoyed him for several months, but he vanished even though I have always kept wire over the top. A year later and just a few days ago walking on the beach I found another one!! He is now happily ensconsed in the old bathtub/fountain. It has always been a mystery to me how they end up on the sandy shores of vast Lake Michigan with nary a river, creek nor small lake nearby to where I've been finding them. I thought intially maybe they had been sucked up in the intake of a boat and spit out when it anchored off shore. But now, after reading your article, it seems more likely they get caught in a clump of debris and float to where I have found them three different times over the years. They are such rare, delightful treasures! This year in September we will set him free in a river nearby, hoping he survives and thrives."

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