tortoise shell

On an outing with fellow stewards yesterday, one of them found a Desert Tortoise skeleton. We gathered the pieces to give to the Conservancy for education but I was given permission to take it home to photograph it first.

tortoise skeleton

It was interesting to me to find that the colorful part of the shell was actually a thin covering which breaks off in segments. The pieces were made of material similar to our fingernails.

tortoise shell covering

I held up one of the segments and sure enough, it had the beautiful coloring that makes it popular for things like sunglasses combs and hair accessories. Thankfully, it’s not our Desert Tortoise’s shells that are prized for manufacturing decorative materials. That turns out to be the shell of the Hawksbill Turtle.

tortoise shell coloring

4 thoughts on “tortoise shell”

  1. How sad. I wonder if this is a tortoise that someone picked up, causing it to unload its water and subsequently die.

    I wish there was a better way to get the “don’t bother the tortoise” information to the public.

  2. Oh. My. God. To be able to photograph him/her under controlled conditions? Be still, my heart. You’re one lucky lady. Got any more to show us? — Carol Leigh

  3. I thought of you, Carol, while I was photographing the shell pieces on my light table 🙂

    Yes…I have more. I took one of each piece…but no…I don’t have any ready to show. I’m lucky to get one image ready for my PAD!

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