The tail is lightly banded and terminates with a rattle representing modified scutes
Pale brown to cream scutes
, the later bordered by dark brown pigmentation.
The ventral scutes
originate from the first scale behind the isthmus and finish before the anal pore; their numbers range from 14 to 18 (mode = 16) prepelvic and 10 to 16 (mode = 12) postpelvic or preanal.
Specifically, the term 'tortoiseshell' refers, almost exclusively, to the horny epidermal scutes
of the hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) (Figure 2).
Description Total range of values given first, followed by values for holotype in parentheses: dorsal-fin rays VIII-I, 21-24 (22); anal-fin rays II-I, 17-19 (18); pectoral-fin rays 18-21 (21); vertebrae 10 precaudal + 14 caudal; curved lateral-line scales 50-73 (69); straight lateral-line scales 0-16 (4); straight lateral-line scutes
24-41 (35); total scales + scutes
in straight lateral line 32-47 (39); developed gill rakers 2-7 (3) upper, 14-17 (14) lower, 16-24 (17) total; rudimentary gill rakers 0-4 (4) upper, 0-3 (3) lower, 4-8 (7) total; rudimentary + developed gill rakers 20-25 (24) total.
In most historical surveys, turtles were identified individually by notching marginal scutes
We marked turtles by drilling holes in the marginal scutes
so each turtle had a unique combination of holes.
Each specimen was examined to determine whether scale formation had been initiated, and a total count of ventral scutes
for specimens in which they were sufficiently developed was obtained.
Turtles were marked by drilling a pattern of holes in the marginal scutes
of the carapace.
Roe breakers" usually wear gloves as the menhaden's ventral scutes
are sharp and cutting.
These nuchal plates are easily identifiable as those of Terrapene based on having short, wide nuchal and marginal scutes
, but I cannot determine for certain which species they represent.
On the inside of the eggshell, many empty fly puparia were noted, as well as remains of what appeared to be a fully developed hatchling, including bones, scutes
, and nearly intact tail.