More Natural World

Turtle Play or War in Cottonwood Creek

What looks like a shell game may be a battle to death.

by Bob Kerstetter

Maybe these turtles fight to the death. But to us it looks like a shell game.

This combat—for life or play—takes place in Cottonwood Creek, Richardson, Texas—a Dallas suburb.

Mossy Turtle Closes In On Smooth Back

A moss plated turtles closes in a larger friend. The game begins before we arrived.

Smooth Back Turtle Slips Away

The larger turtle circles hard to the right. The mossy turtle paddles hard to stay in the game.

Mossy and Smooth Back Turtles Face Off

The turtles face off, slowly circling each other.

Two More Turtles Join the Game

Two other turtles head toward the game. It looks like hardshell fun.

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