Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Tortoise and the Hair

Gypsy and Tucker found something new to intrigue them at Grand Oaks. Nope, not the horses. They wanted to meet that hard shelled critter that came out to eat grass behind our motorhome each afternoon. We shared the immediate area with two gopher tortoises each about 15" long, and there was evidence of more throughout the property. The tortoise is a threatened species in  parts of the southeast as loss of this tortoise could threaten the future of over 300 other animals that shelter in the tortoise burrows.

Image from the Internet
The Internet tells me that tortoise burrows are extensive, sometimes running over 100 feet in length at a depth of up to 10 feet. When we walk we see fresh piles of dirt up to 2' in diameter. They remind me of the sand piles we see in Colorado from pocket gophers. I am thinking the piles we see are from similar burrowing animals that are creating their own entrance/exit to the tortoise's burrow. We drove by this pasture with dirt piles in line. Care to bet that the dirt piles trace the line of the tortoise burrows?!

I'm not certain what Tucker and Gypsy might have done had they gotten up close to the creature....

I'm not certain what the creature may have done if he came nose to nose with them.

Although he seems very placid, I wasn't willing to let it happen!

1 comment:

  1. It looks like the gopher is a keystone species in Grand Oaks ~ like the prairie dogs in Colorado. It certainly looks like Tucker and Gypsy were longing to get closer to the tortoise. I'm sure they were fascinated!


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