"Mrs. Bones"

Mrs. Bones became a part of the Earthshine Turtle Tracks project in the fall of 2008. She is a rather large female that Dr. Billy Hagler found in the horse pasture very close to where Bones was first found in the barn. She is a very secretive and shy turtle that very seldom comes out of her shell.

In mid October 2008 we attached a Telenax transmitter with an expected life expectancy of 2.5 years. Although this transmitter is under the weight limit for Mrs. Bones, I feel that it was just a bit large in size and shape so it was replaced with a smaller unit in the spring of 2009 after Mrs. Bones came out of hibernation.

Mrs. Bones was released near her point of capture on 10-26-2008 and since then Meredith and I have begun following her movements. Data from Mrs. Bones Tracks will be compared with Bones Tracks and it is a good bet that Mrs. Bones and Bones have met before so it will be very interesting to follow them both and see what happens!

Mrs. Bones' adopted "guardians" are Billy and Gail Hagler and the residents of Sherwood Forest whose generous donations have made this study possible.


Mrs. Bones UPDATE May 03, 2011

Mrs. Bones has been out of her winter sleep for almost a month now. Almost immediately after coming out of her torpor she made a bee-line of her favorite spot beside the highway. On locate day 2 of this year I found her only 1 foot from the white line--scary! I have already had to move her out of harms way and for now she seems to be OK since she has moved farther away from the road. I wonder what suprises this summer will reveal in the life of Mrs. Bones?

Mrs. Bones UPDATE October 08, 2010

Mrs. Bones has had an Odyssey of a summer! Take a look at the video below for a full report on her movements over the last few months.

Mrs. Bones UPDATE August 24, 2010

Mrs. Bones has spent most of the summer following the same patterns that she has followed since we started tracking her. It seems that she really wants to be in the grassy median near the busy road and although we have repeatedly moved her out of harms way she continually returns to the road that I now call "Mrs. Bones Place." This experiment in turtle homing abilities is really showing me that their homing instinct is incredibly strong and that they want to be exactly where they want to be and they will stubbornly return if at all possible.

Mrs. Bones UPDATE June, 07, 2010

Mrs Bones slept late this year and is now out of her winter torpor and is on the move! She has repeatedly tried to return to the grassy median beside the highway and we have repeatedly moved her to the dense forest behind the house...and yet she returns. Turtles really want to be where turtles want to be!

Mrs. Bones UPDATE March 07, 2010

Mrs. Bones is still in her winter sleep but we hope to see her sometime in April or May. Her late summer and fall 2009 tracking logs are behind due to a loss of website data and are in the process of being updated. They should be online before she wakes up from her winters nap.

Mrs. Bones UPDATE June 04, 2009

Wow! Mrs. Bones has had an interesting 2009! It started last winter while she was in hibernation. Her transmitter worked for only a few months and then it mysteriously malfunctioned. Mrs. Bones was then removed from hibernation and placed in a nearby holding pen with some of the substrate from her hibernation site. In early spring she received a new transmitter and was released back at her hibernation site. After consulting with the transmitter company they were as baffled as I was and after some research into the issue discovered that the problem was human error--an employee of the company did not follow directions when assembling the transmitters so this employee was terminated and the problem was rectified. Mrs. Bones spent the early spring living in the grassy strip between the road and horse pasture--not a very safe place for a little box turtle! During this time she increased in weight by ~55 grams--so I believe that she is gravid(pregnant) and searching for a place to lay her eggs! A couple of weeks later during a rainy few days in late May, she was found by Meredith only a foot or so from the road in tall grass that was going to be mowed the next day! Meredith then decided to move her deep into the forest where she would hopefully lay her eggs in a safe area away from the road and mowers. Although moving turtles is not something I would normally do, in this case it was either move or die and I support Meredith's decision to move the turtle. This will be just another experiment in turtle homing ability and movements. What will she do? Only time will tell.

To view Mrs. Bones' 2011 tracking map with her past movements and current location in a new window just click HERE

To view Mrs. Bones' 2010 tracking map with her past movements and current location in a new window just click HERE

To view Mrs. Bones' 2009 tracking map with her past movements and current location in a new window just click HERE

NOTE: Distances and locations on the maps are approximate. Exact location information will not be posted on this site due to possible poaching/trespass issues.

Observational data, movies and photos collected each time Mrs. Bones is located will be posted through the link below.

Mrs. Bones Tracks Tracking Logs

To view the index of Mrs. Bones previous track logs just click HERE

Please return often because as this study unfolds, I will update this page with more data, photos and movies documenting the journeys of Mrs. Bones the Eastern Box Turtle.

Please contact us if you have a box turtle local to the WNC area that is injured, sick, displaced or is in need of a little R & R or if you are interested in becoming a part of The Earthshine Turtle Tracks program .

If you would like to adopt (sponsor) Mrs. Bones just email me for more information.