Go Get Em’ Gopher Tortoise


Tortoises have so much character, especially our special little guy Ezra. Not only are they awesome animals because they make habitat for over 350 different organisms, but they are so adorable with their stumpy, elephant-like rear legs.

We read a really neat version of the fable the Tortoise and the Hare called: The Gopher or The Hare. In this version of the famous fable, both tortoise and hare end up being winners.
The story has wonderful illustrations by Slade Morrison, Toni Morrison’s son.
tortoise or the hare

After story time, we had a really nice visit with Ezra our gopher tortoise and learned all about his shell and the hexagon patterns that adorn his carapace. We explored sizes and using concentric hexagons, decorated our very own tortoise shells, plastron and carapace both!

Check out this picture of Ezra looking at our awesome tortoise shells we made at TT.
tortoise dreams of big shells

About Joy O' Nature

I am a naturalist on the education staff here at Oatland Island Wildlife Center. I earned a B.S. in Terrestrial Ecology with a minor in Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont. I recently received my MPH in Environmental Health from the University of Arizona. I have been a classroom science and environmental educator; instructing all ages from preschool to college, for most of my educated life.

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