Previous Page Photo-Diary of a Terrapin Researcher  Next Page

Don Lewis, Massachusetts Audubon Society,
Fox Island Wildlife Management Area

Dead Terrapins Found in Fox Island WMA — 3 November 2000

Eleven dead diamondback terrapins were discovered in salt marsh rivulets south of Indian Neck's Fox Island Wildlife Management Area in this morning's low tide.  These turtles ranged in age from 3-year-old juveniles to young adults.

The smallest measured 7.5 centimeters carapace length.

The largest was a 10-year-old female of 17.9 centimeters.  Remains varied from decomposed and desiccated to fresh.  One three-year-old juvenile, with missing head and forelimbs, still flailed her legs and tail when touched.

Preliminary analysis revealed no indications that these turtles were other than in good condition before their demise.  While some limbs were missing, predation of soft tissue may have occurred post mortem.  There were no teeth nor claw marks observed on the shells.  Cause of death is undetermined.

The 11 dead turtles were found in the area south of Fox Island circled in red below.  The rest of the marsh from the Anawan turnaround to Wise Hill and Field Point will be searched during low tides over the next few days.