Elms Environmental Education Center

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Critters of the Elms

Common Snapping Turtle

Snapping turtles can not hide inside their shells like some other smaller turtles. Instead they will bite if they feel like they have to defend themselves.

This common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) was spotted crossing the lawn at Elms April 2012. It was not interested in bothering anyone.

Leopard Gecko: Eublepharis macularius

photos Hester Burch

Leopard geckos are indigenous to Pakistan and India. They are nocturnal. In the wild it would live in semiarid or arid environments (dry). They can live 15 to 20 years. Burt is his name. He is about 13 years old (in 2012). He was a former classroom pet at Hollywood Elementary School and has lived at the Elms since about 2006. If its tail was to break off (autotomize), it would grow a new one. Amazing!

American Mink specimen

The fur of an American mink can be anywhere from light brown to almost black. This specimen’s fur has turned white because it is so old. The fur of a living mink does not turn white. A mink can climb trees and is a good swimmer. At one time it was popular to make ladies fur coats out of mink pelts. Minks are common in some parts of Maryland.

This specimen is displayed at Elms. Picture taken 2012.

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The Elms Environmental Education Center is the home of Environmental Education for St. Mary's County Public Schools.

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