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Elmer The Turtle.

Updated on March 28, 2013

Pictures Of Elmer

This is Elmer, he came with the name.
This is Elmer, he came with the name.
Elmer is totally brown, he has recently str\arted to turn green from algae.
Elmer is totally brown, he has recently str\arted to turn green from algae.
His head is completely brown although sometimes you can see a biit of red of orange when viewed a certain angles.
His head is completely brown although sometimes you can see a biit of red of orange when viewed a certain angles.
You can see a bit of orange on his head in this picture.
You can see a bit of orange on his head in this picture.
He does have a nice smile and he whistles.
He does have a nice smile and he whistles.
Elmers bottom side.
Elmers bottom side.
Side view of Elmer, he does not have a very tall carapice, it is rather low.  He does have a definded ridge on his back.
Side view of Elmer, he does not have a very tall carapice, it is rather low. He does have a definded ridge on his back.
Webbed feet with very sharp nails.  He has climbed out of his tank several tims and once he climbed out of his playgate, almost 3 feet tall.
Webbed feet with very sharp nails. He has climbed out of his tank several tims and once he climbed out of his playgate, almost 3 feet tall.

Species Unknown

Elmer the turtle joined my family in February in February of 2003. He is the sole survivor of the many creatures that were included in the gift my wife had given me for Valentines Day that year. Elmer is partially responsible for the demise of some of the creatures he shared a tank with for about a week. He ate the frog, snails, and hermit crab that were in the tank and his waste material fouled the water and killed several of the fish. One gold fish lived to be six years old and grew to a length of 18 inches!

Elmer eats meal worms, turtle sticks, strawberries, tomatoes, raspberries, radishes, honey ham, chicken, and a good piece of steak. He can be hand fed the turtle food, but gets too aggressive when served meat.

Elmer whistles when he is hungry, cold, or scared. During our many moves while my wife was in medical school, he would whistle for hours at a time during the drive to our new home. He recently went to my son's school for show and tell during which he whistled non-stop which thoroughly thrilled the first grade class, my son has a whistling turtle! There were many questions asked about the turtle, one of which was what kind of turtle he was. We had to answer that we did not know. Until that point in time we had no reason to question what kind of turtle Elmer was.

When we got home that afternoon my son and I began to search our turtle book to see if we could find our turtle and we found nothing. We then went on the Internet to see if we can find some information about our turtle and after several hours could only find one turtle that looked like ours. We even contacted the Columbus Zoo because they had some turtles in their tanks that looked like Elmer, but they never returned our phone calls or E-mails even though we sent pictures.

So maybe someone on Hub pages will be able to identify our turtle and share that information with us. We would also like to know some care tips such as cleaning the shell and what type of environment should be set up in Elmer's tank. We appear to be doing something right, he has survived almost ten years, but we want to make sure there is not more we can do to make his life more comfortable.

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    • RealityTalk profile image

      RealityTalk 

      5 years ago from Planet Earth

      I don't have an answer for type of turtle. Elmer could be a Box Turtle or a Painted Turtle. I wish I knew. I have owned a number of turtles through the years: red-eared sliders, painted turtles, snapping turtles, diamond-back terrapin. I switched over to tortoises because they are low maintenance. For the past 15 years I have owned a Russian Tortoise "Boris." Boris has gone through two wives. lol. They never got along well. Boris' current wife "Natasha" gets along with Boris well. They sleep together, lay together with their heads touching; very romantic. Boris has begun the mating ritual and Natasha does not resist as his past two wives did. lol. Just a little tip I learned. Boris has a concave plastron which along with the location of the opening on his tail identifies him as male. I guess the opening on the tail's location is the best identifier of sex. Natasha has a flat plastron which I am told could mean she is female. Anyway, I had the vet identify the sexes to be sure. Turtles or tortoises, they are all great pets. May you have many more enjoyable years with Elmer.

    • Mitch Alan profile image

      Mitch Alan 

      5 years ago from South Jersey

      Seems to be a West Virginia Whistling Turtle. A very rare and special turtle that seems to have found the perfect home for the last 10 years. Here's hoping for 10 or more to come.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Delightful story. You have a very interesting turtle. Hope you find out what kind he is. Could this be him? Cause these eat some of the things you mentioned.

      http://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/reptilesamphibia...

    • flacoinohio profile imageAUTHOR

      flacoinohio 

      5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for reading about Elmer. We are surprised Elmer has survived this long with us. While we are concerned about cring for Elmer properly, we have had him as a pet for ten years so I guess we re doing something right.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 

      5 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Like mary615 above, I'd never heard of a turtle who could whistle. So sad about the other inhabitants of Elmer's tank getting eaten.

      I am glad you and your family have a turtle you like so much. I enjoyed this hub and all the comments, too.

      We watched a great documentary about a turtle the other night. It was called Turtle, The Incredible Journey. It spanned 25 years of a turtle's life and life-threatening challenges in the ocean.

      Voting up, awesome and sharing.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      5 years ago from Florida

      I have never heard of a turtle that whistles! Elmer is pretty cute. My kids have had turtles and he looks like a Box Turtle to me, but I'm not sure. I know turtles live for a long time. We have the huge loggerhead turtles that come up on our beaches to lay their eggs, and we are told they may be over 100 years old.

      Cute Hub.

    • profile image

      HowIConquered 

      6 years ago

      I've been trying to identify my boyfriends turtle for the past month. He was told it was an Eastern Box Turtle when his parents bought it from a pet shop many years ago, I believe it looks more like a East Indian Box Turtle ("similar" images found in an encyclopedia), and three people from two different pet shops told me it was either a Yellow Belly Slider or some type of Slider. My conclusion has been that it's very hard for just the naked eye to determine what species a Turtle is. Unless a DNA test is taken I'm not sure if you will ever really have confirmation on what type of Turtle you have there. It could be that the Turtle doesn't belong to just one species of turtle and is a mix of a variety of species. It could also be that you have a rare species that's not known about or often captured. Good luck with your search!

    • tlmcgaa70 profile image

      tlmcgaa70 

      6 years ago from south dakota, usa

      why dont you contact west virginia game and fish and describe your turtle, perhaps they can identify it for you. you dont need to tell them it is a pet. or go to a herp page and post these pictures and your description in the forums and maybe someone can identify it for you...good luck. if you ever find out i hope you will let me know i am very intrigued.

    • flacoinohio profile imageAUTHOR

      flacoinohio 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      This is not Elmer, head is too big, she'll is different and too much color, Elmer is completely brown. Shell patches are not raised on his shell, it is smooth. Thanks for the pictures though. Still looking.

    • tlmcgaa70 profile image

      tlmcgaa70 

      6 years ago from south dakota, usa

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 

      6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Wow, your pet turtle seems a bit of a handful at times - with a varied diet. I have never heard a turtle whistle so mention of it surprised me (I know nothing about pets other than feline, canine and mice or rats). I hope you get some good information from other hubbers who know about turtles. I will be nice if you can find out exactly what kind of turtle you've had for so long.

    • tlmcgaa70 profile image

      tlmcgaa70 

      6 years ago from south dakota, usa

      http://www.google.com/imgres?start=190&hl=en&a...//greennature.com/gallery/turtle-pictures/water-turtles.html&docid=j2aUEMFWZg29LM&imgurl=http://greennature.com/gallery/turtle-pictures/wes...

      the picture of this western pond turtle looks similar to your turtle but it may rather be a species of wood or bog turtle

    • flacoinohio profile imageAUTHOR

      flacoinohio 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      West Virginia, Lewsiburg I think.

    • tlmcgaa70 profile image

      tlmcgaa70 

      6 years ago from south dakota, usa

      hello...in what state did you get this turtle?

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