STORY BY DONNIE BRADLEY, FNN REPORTER, BLOW PIERCE BUREAU.
JANUARY 9, 2013. Did you know that Blow Pierce has a turtle called Hal and he is a male with red eyes? Mr. Bell is a very good teacher who found Hal under the stairs of our school. Hal gets easily frightened by noise, so don’t be loud around him because he will put his head in his shell. He has a cool green and orange shell—and he is very slow—but he beat me in racing! (Haven’t you heard the story of the Tortoise and the Hare?!)
Hal is a box turtle so he is not that big. He is about the size of a tiny pizza. If that didn’t explode your beautiful minds, well this will: I found out that turtle experts agree that the world has about 300 living species of turtles in more than a dozen family groups. Did you know that turtles are cold-blooded? (Don’t freeze them, because they’re not “freeze-blooded”.) The upper shell of a turtle is called a carapace and is very strong.
Did you know male turtles have red eyes and female turtles have yellow eyes? Another thing that makes male turtles different from females is that male turtles have different size, color and are more aggressive. Males fight for a turtle girlfriend and a male turtle has its private part lower than a girls’ - it’s called a cloaca. Flipping over a turtle can hurt it. Males also have different gills on their skin and bloom faster. Male turtles are more focused... at least that’s what the experts say.
Guess where Hal is now? Hal is in his hibernating stage, so he is underground because it is cold and in the fall season. Our school, Blow Pierce, calls the courtyard Hal’s Habitat. Hal’s Habitat is dirt and grass so that it can seem like he is in nature.
Donnie Bradley is a 6th grade student at Blow Pierce Junior Academy.