Every month we will feature an animal from the Ashland Nature Center’s Herp Room. The Herp room is the room where all of our educational animals live. These animals are both native and non-native and they all attract a lot of attention from everyone that visits the nature center. Since the Herp Room is not open to the public, we wanted to give everybody a closer look at our amazing critters.
These posts will have all of the information you could possibly need about the animal featured. You will be able to view it as a video or pictures and text. For this first month, the Herp Room Animal of the Month is already chosen. In the coming months, you will be the ones choosing which animal deserves the coveted title.
This time, The December 2011 Herp Room Animal of the Month is….
The Yellow-footed Tortoise!!
Affectionately referred to as “Speedbump,” the yellow footed tortoise is the oldest animal (approximately 35) at Ashland Nature Center and also, one of the most popular. He is native to northern South America, typically around the outskirts of the dense rainforests. These turtles are diurnal, meaning they are awake during the daytime, in which they feed on various fruits, berries, vegetation, and slow moving animals such as snails and worms. They are remarkably long-lived animals that can be up to 60 years old! They are also quite social, with various noises and head movements to impress the ladies or to tell other males to take a hike. You can tell a male tortoise from a female because the male has a big dent on the bottom of his shell.
Here at Ashland, this big guy is spoiled with salads three times a week and a nice juicy worm once a week. The yellow-footed tortoise participates in the annual International Turtle Race at the Harvest Moon Festival, though he has never won. He prefers to munch on the clover instead of actually competing.
Be sure to keep checking the blog to see when you can vote for your favorite animal to become the next Herp Room Animal of the Month!