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Friday, April 16, 2010

Our Teacher This Week Was Well....Different!

Did you know that turtle shells bleed? Or that turtles have 5 toes on their front feet but only 3 on the back. Did you know that turtles eat worms? And tomatoes? And hot dogs?

I didn't know any of these things until my dad brought a turtle home for us. Lacey promptly named the turtle Franklin ( of course), Kyle named it Raphael, after the teenage mutant ninja turtle. Every morning we take him/her/it outside to walk around and enjoy some fresh air and we dig for worms to feed it. We have learned a lot about worms also by doing this. Like where the best worms are, and for some reason we found that we have better luck the earlier we dig for them. Why is that I wonder? Do they burrow deeper later in the day? Also we learned that we have better luck closer to the ground and under bushes. We don't seem to find as many the deeper down we go. Oh and one day while we were digging for worms we found a really weird something. I don't know what it was. Worm? Centipede? Baby snake? I have no clue. It didn't look like anything I'd ever seen before. It was smooth like a worm but moved like a snake in a way. It slithered back and forth but also could go forward or backward. If agitated it struck out kinda like a snake. My dad said it was a centipede but it didn't have any legs. Shane said it was a baby snake but it was red and yellow without any black. And I don't know if snakes can move backwards! Anyway we feed it to the chickens but now I wish we had kept it a while. There is still lots of discussion about just what it really was.

Anyway back to the turtle. We also discovered that Franklin/ Raphael prefers fat long worms to the skinny ones. And he'll eat grub worms but he doesn't seem to like them very much. Sometimes we'll put him in a puddle of water to swim around for a while. He doesn't seem especially thrilled by this but Lily insists that he wants to go swimming so I let her put him in occasionally.

One day we decided to draw pictures of him. That's when we discovered that he had 5 claws on his front feet but only 3 on his back. That seems strange to me so hopefully we can check again the next time we draw him. Kyle and Lacey drew some really good pictures! I told them to really pay attention to the shape of his body and the color of his shell and body. They even drew the way his shell has a scalloped edge instead of a smooth edge.

Today we learned that their shells actually have blood and nerves in them. We learned this because Lily accidently dropped him and a tip of his shell broke a little. We saw blood and examined him and it looked like the blood was coming from his shell. We looked up on the computer about his shell and sure enough turtle shells can bleed! So now we are handling him much more carefully.

I think he is getting used to us. He'll walk around even if he sees us and he'll come out of his shell while Kyle is holding him. I think we'll keep him another week or two then let him go. I sure am enjoying having him aroung though.

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