Graduate Student


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Creation Date

Spring 2024


Coloration in turtles is an understudied but potentially ecologically relevant trait for many species. Functions of color in turtles may range from anti-predation (e.g., camouflage) to within-species communication, such as the honest signaling of fitness traits to potential mates. In a study exploring how cold snap exposures of varying lengths during embryonic development affect the resulting sex ratios of red-eared slider turtles, we took images of the resulting hatchlings for identification purposes. Although we found no obvious association between color and cold snap treatment, our photos demonstrate that red-eared sliders hatch with varying shell patterns, color intensities, and scute sizes/symmetry. Here, we showcase the carapaces (top shell elements) of eight different hatchlings. Photos are unaltered apart from being cropped and placed against a contrasting dark background.