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#mississippiwildlife

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I call this one "trying to keep a low profile." Softshell turtles (Trionychids) are deeply divergent from hard-shelled turtles, splitting hundreds of millions of years ago! This widespread family of turtles are very successful ambush predators and can grow to enormous size (like the Yangtze softshell that can grow to several hundred pounds). This spiny softshell turtle was found in a sandy stream in south Mississippi. #softshellturtle #mississippiwildlife #turtlesofinstagram

Many of the Gulf Coast rivers in the Southeast US harbor these little gems. Each major river system from the Apalachicola to the Pearl holds its own species of megacephalic map turtle. Because the genus is highly aquatic and seldom ventures far from water, they were isolated in these rivers for enough time to speciate in each. The Pascagoula is home to the Pascagoula map turtle (#Graptemys gibbonsi), named after one of my former herpetology professors at UGA. This young turtle was caught by a buddy of mine, @wishardmatt, and released after a few photos. #turtles #mapturtle #Mississippiwildlife

It's hatchling season here in South Mississippi! I hatched these little nuggets as part of a paternity study of stripe-necked musk turtles (#Sternotherus minor peltifer). After fattening then up a little they'll be released back to their native stream. In the meantime my heart will just keep melting. 💘 #babyturtle #babyturtles #Mississippiwildlife

#Rawr. What this little guy lacked in size he made up for spunk! A #razorbackmuskturtle from a nearby park. #Sternotherus #tinyturtle #Mississippiwildlife

While out surveying for map turtles, we have seen a few box turtles who have seemingly tumbled down the bank to soak in the river. I don't blame them, I've gone for a soak or two too in this South Mississippi heat (and humidity)! #Mississippiwildlife #turtlesofinstagram #PascagoulaRiver #boxturtle

A Golden peltifer! One of the prettiest stripe-necked musks I’ve turned up in Mississippi. This adult male was from a spring fed creek chock full of tannins. Whether or not that had anything to do with his coloration, I’m not sure. He was the only one I caught at the site b/c the majority of my traps were eviscerated (I suspect the work of otters). #muskturtle #Sternotherus #gold #Mississippiwildlife

An ornery common snapper from a small stream in South Mississippi. #turtlesofinstagram #Mississippiwildlife #snappingturtle #Chelydra

I saw this large, male Gulf Coast Box turtle about to cross a busy road in South Mississippi over the weekend. I’m always impressed by this race of box turtle. Their large size has been a source of debate - are they a hybrid or introgressed form of the extinct giant box turtles, Terrapene putnami, or is their size tied to their aquatic tendencies (i.e., increased buoyancy) as the species is nearly semiaquatic in the floodplain swamps of many Gulf Coast river systems - or both? In parts of Mississippi you can find this species along brackish marshes stalking and EATING fiddler crabs. Such an interesting turtle species - to learn more about them be sure to follow @americanturtles who have been studying populations of this species and other Terrapene in the SE US. #boxturtle #gulfcoastboxturtle #terrapene #mississippiwildlife

On my way to a research site, I was driving down a low-traffic road through a national forest, and who do I see boogying up the shoulder but this pretty lady! I've only seen a handful of gopher tortoises (colloquially known as "gophers") in Mississippi. The species is considered federally threatened west of the Mobile drainage, so to see this one was a real treat. Gopher tortoises are a keystone species in longleaf pine savannas, meaning that their burrows are critical for the survival and maintenance of hundreds of species found in the ecosystem. Their burrows can be upwards of 40 ft long and nearly 10 ft deep. They provide shelter to hundreds of species, and serve as winter refugia (e.g., for the iconic indigo snakes and diamondback rattlers) as well as during fires which helped maintain the landscape. I hung out with this lady for a few minutes to make sure she got across the road safely (it's illegal to pick one up and move it without proper permits). She promptly made her way back down the road, made one right turn, and found her burrow. What a neat experience. #Mississippiwildlife #gophertortoise #Ibrakeforturtes

MOST RECENT

Tis' the season for GIVING! My fundraiser for December is going to benefit @centralmswildliferehab again. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Hayden last time and those sweet babies need all the donations they can get! Please consider placing an order through their event and all commission for the month of December will be donated. We have amazing gifts and stocking stuffers, all under $25 and of course, we are cruelty free! Please tag your friends and family and spread the word ❤️ Link to shop is in my bio. #poshwithcarissa #wildliferehab #wildliferescue #wildlifeaddicts #wildlifephotography #rescuerehabrehome #whitetail #mississippiwildlife #perfectlyposh

#Repost @carissa848
Tis' the season for GIVING! My fundraiser for December is going to benefit @centralmswildliferehab again. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Hayden last time and those sweet babies need all the donations they can get! Please consider placing an order through their event and all commission for the month of December will be donated. We have amazing gifts and stocking stuffers, all under $25 and of course, we are cruelty free! Please tag your friends and family and spread the word ❤️ Link is in my bio to shop! .
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#wildlifeaddicts #wildliferehab #wildliferescue #wildliferefuge #rescuerehabrelease #mississippiwildlife #whitetaildeer #poshwithcarissa #animallovers #wildlifewednesday #wildlifephotography #wildlifefriend #fundraiser #deer #whitetail

Tis' the season for GIVING! My fundraiser for December is going to benefit @centralmswildliferehab again. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Hayden last time and those sweet babies need all the donations they can get! Please consider placing an order through their event and all commission for the month of December will be donated. We have amazing gifts and stocking stuffers, all under $25 and of course, we are cruelty free! Please tag your friends and family and spread the word ❤️ Link is in my bio to shop! .
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#wildlifeaddicts #wildliferehab #wildliferescue #wildliferefuge #rescuerehabrelease #mississippiwildlife #whitetaildeer #poshwithcarissa #animallovers #wildlifewednesday #wildlifephotography #wildlifefriend #fundraiser #deer #whitetail

*REPOST*
Tis' the season for GIVING! My fundraiser for December is going to benefit @centralmswildliferehab again. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Hayden last time and those sweet babies need all the donations they can get! Please consider placing an order through their event and all commission for the month of December will be donated. We have amazing gifts and stocking stuffers, all under $25 and of course, we are cruelty free! Please tag your friends and family and spread the word ❤️ Link is in my bio to shop! .
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.Visit @carissa848 profile for link to shop!
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#wildlifeaddicts #wildliferehab #wildliferescue #wildliferefuge #rescuerehabrelease #mississippiwildlife #whitetaildeer #poshwithcarissa #animallovers #wildlifewednesday #wildlifephotography #wildlifefriend #fundraiser

Tis' the season for GIVING! My fundraiser for December is going to benefit @centralmswildliferehab again. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Hayden last time and those sweet babies need all the donations they can get! Please consider placing an order through their event and all commission for the month of December will be donated. We have amazing gifts and stocking stuffers, all under $25 and of course, we are cruelty free! Please tag your friends and family and spread the word ❤️ Link is in my bio to shop! .
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#wildlifeaddicts #wildliferehab #wildliferescue #wildliferefuge #rescuerehabrelease #mississippiwildlife #whitetaildeer #poshwithcarissa #animallovers #wildlifewednesday #wildlifephotography #wildlifefriend #fundraiser

Well this is assuredly a first. While herping around for salamanders and snakes yesterday, my friend @luke_pearson2 and l heard a rustling in the leaves nearby and saw this female box turtle (#Terrapenecarolina), on December 5th! Never have I seen a box turtle active this time of year, but with a high of 80 I wasn’t surprised... A cold front moved through overnight, so we are only seeing a high of 43 today. I hope she managed to find somewhere suitable to hunker down for this Mississippi “winter.” #boxturtle #Mississippiwildlife #turtle

I caught these two female yellow-blotched sawbacks out basking yesterday on a warm December day in South Mississippi. You can tell from their shells that the recent cold weather has had them buried in the river sediment waiting for more favorable conditions, but through the caked mud, you can see those distinctive and beautiful yellow/orange blotched. Though federally-protected, these turtles are very abundant in certain areas. Females like this are thought to feed heavily on freshwater sponges (something I’d really like to see). I love having a camera now that can capture photos of these turtles in their natural state 😁 #yellowblotchedmapturtle #Graptemys #endangeredspecies #turtle #Mississippiwildlife

Sigh.... this female razorback was or probably is my last musk turtle of the season. Temperatures are dropping, and the days are getting much shorter. I found this female last week foraging along the bank. The first photo is ‘in situ,’ meaning that’s where I found her (that algae on her shell makes for great #camouflage). I collected shell measurements and a small tissue sample and sent her back on her way. Upon release, it was really interesting: she didn’t bother hiding under nearby structure; instead she swam at a steady little pace, without pause or breath for ~30 ft upstream to a specific crevice in the soapstone, much like a gopher tortoise to a burrow. I imagine that must be her home/safe space. I can’t wait until spring when I can see these guys again. #Sternotherus #turtle #Mississippiwildlife #muskturle

Egret having lunch! Photo credit to my 16 year old @mk.toombs! Mom is proud 😃#wildlifephotography #birds #bird #wildlife #swamp #mississippiwildlife #birdsofinstagram

I pretty much only take selfies when I have some sort of wild critter in my hands. Found this cute Eastern Ribbon Snake earlier in a bog. #herpetology #herpsofinstagram #snakesarefriendsnotfoes #snakes #snakesofinstagram #mississippinature #mississippiwildlife

First sighting of this species for me. Argiope trifasciata, Banded Orbweaver. They're related to Argiope aurantia, Black and yellow garden spider/Orbweaver. Those are commonly found this time of year but I haven't found trifasciata before. #arachnid #spiders #argiope #mswildlife #mississippiwildlife #mississippinature

Time for some bird facts! These skewered moths are the work of one of my personal favorite species, the Loggerhead Shrike. It's also known as the butcher bird because they capture prey such as large insects, small reptiles, small mammals and even small birds and then hang them on thorns or when there are none, barbed wire. They do this so that they'll have a source of food later there they can come back to either to feed chicks or to impress their female partners. #ornithology #birding #insects #shrike #loggerheadshrike #mississippinature #mississippiwildlife #ilikebirds #butcherbird

I spy with my little eye... Tell me what you see (before swiping right). More often than you’d think, when I’m exploring new streams or even setting out traps for my research, I’ll come across these little guys. A good indication of a healthy population.
#Mississippiwildlife #snappingturtle #alligatorsnappingturtle #crypsis #camouflage #babyturtle

A common herp, but a herp nonetheless. Anolis carolinensis, Green Anole. This guy was between my window and the screen in my room. Caught him and only knocked over one lamp doing so. He was released back outside after this. #herpsofinstagram #mswildlife #mississippiwildlife #mississippinature #reptilesofinstagram #herpetology

A Golden peltifer! One of the prettiest stripe-necked musks I’ve turned up in Mississippi. This adult male was from a spring fed creek chock full of tannins. Whether or not that had anything to do with his coloration, I’m not sure. He was the only one I caught at the site b/c the majority of my traps were eviscerated (I suspect the work of otters). #muskturtle #Sternotherus #gold #Mississippiwildlife

I had a fun opportunity to help George Heinrich and crew with George’s Big Turtle Year - a year long mission to see every species of turtle in the U.S. to raise conservation awareness. On a float down a river in South Mississippi, we got our hands on species #49 - a large female Pearl River map turtle #Graptemys pearlensis. For more information on George’s Big Turtle Year be sure to visit his website: www.thebigturtleyear.org #conservation #mapturtle #Mississippiwildlife

There is always a trap close by, even if it is not immediately visible.
#jenkinsphotography #canon #canoneos #wildlifephotography #spiders #web #mississippiwildlife

I saw this large, male Gulf Coast Box turtle about to cross a busy road in South Mississippi over the weekend. I’m always impressed by this race of box turtle. Their large size has been a source of debate - are they a hybrid or introgressed form of the extinct giant box turtles, Terrapene putnami, or is their size tied to their aquatic tendencies (i.e., increased buoyancy) as the species is nearly semiaquatic in the floodplain swamps of many Gulf Coast river systems - or both? In parts of Mississippi you can find this species along brackish marshes stalking and EATING fiddler crabs. Such an interesting turtle species - to learn more about them be sure to follow @americanturtles who have been studying populations of this species and other Terrapene in the SE US. #boxturtle #gulfcoastboxturtle #terrapene #mississippiwildlife

Some older folks wanted this Long nose gar to eat if I wasn't keeping it... so somehow it escaped my hands gently into the water to escape before they could come close enough to me to get it. Find a catfish to eat, dummy. #mfk #monsterfishkeepers #longnosegar #garfish #wildlife #mississippiwildlife

I stumbled across this young male #spinysoftshellturtle foraging for caterpillars along a stream bank a few weeks ago. My presence hardly seemed to concern him, and he just kept munching on his dinner. Talk about my #spiritanimal - put some food in front of me, and I’m oblivious to my surroundings too... 😅 #softshellturtle #Mississippiwildlife #hungryhungrycaterpillar

Feeding time for these nuggets. Little stripe-necked #muskturtles enjoying some tasty bloodworms. #timelapse #Sternotherusminorpeltifer #babyturtles #Mississippiwildlife

Go out, explore, create, get up close and personal today. 𐩾

I’m looking forward to hanging out this weekend like these eastern river cooters are hanging out on a log. #TGIF If you look closely, you’ll see a rapidly desiccating leech on the back of the right turtle’s shell. Basking is not only beneficial thermoregulation but also for ridding ectoparasites. #Mississippiwildlife #rivercooter #turtle

Some of the prettiest turtles in North America live right on my doorstep. The yellow-blotched sawback is a federally-threatened species that is locally abundant in rivers of South Mississippi. This species is renowned for its extreme sexual dimorphism - if you look at the last pogo of the series, that is a small adult female on the left and an adult male on the right. Recent diet studies indicate that one of the largest components of their diet are freshwater sponges, which I didn't even know existed... 😳 #mapturtle #turtle #endangeredspecies #Mississippiwildlife

#Repost @groverbrown (@get_repost)
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#Rawr. What this little guy lacked in size he made up for spunk! A #razorbackmuskturtle from a nearby park. #Sternotherus #tinyturtle #Mississippiwildlife

I went to Mississippi last weekend in the hopes of finding a Timber Rattlesnake. I found one but not at all in the manor I would have preferred. Yes, I found it hit by a car, but hopefully next time it will turn out different. Despite it being dead, I still wanted to show you how beautiful these guys really are. This guy's skin and rattle will serve as educational props sometime soon in the future. #snakes #snakesofinstagram #rattlesnake #rattlesnakesofinstagram #timberrattlesnake #canebrakerattlesnake #mississippi #mississippiwildlife #boyscouts #boyscoutsofamerica #scouting #herpsofinstagram #herp #herping #herpetology #wildlife #wildlifephotography #wildlifeconservation #conservation #photography #nature #naturephotography #natureconservation #venomous #venomoussnakes #beatiful #skin #scales

You all know what this is. Next time I find a Timber Rattlesnake I'd strongly prefer it's alive unlike this DOR I found in Mississippi yesterday. Despite it being dead, I still wanted to show you how beautiful these guys really are. Hopefully this guy's skin will serve as an educational prop sometime soon in the future. #snakes #snakesofinstagram #rattlesnake #rattlesnakesofinstagram #timberrattlesnake #canebrakerattlesnake #mississippi #mississippiwildlife #boyscouts #boyscoutsofamerica #scouting #herpsofinstagram #herp #herping #herpetology #wildlife #wildlifephotography #wildlifeconservation #conservation #photography #nature #naturephotography #natureconservation #venomous #venomoussnakes #beatiful #skin #scales

Leucistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird #hummingbird #mississippiwildlife

It's hatchling season here in South Mississippi! I hatched these little nuggets as part of a paternity study of stripe-necked musk turtles (#Sternotherus minor peltifer). After fattening then up a little they'll be released back to their native stream. In the meantime my heart will just keep melting. 💘 #babyturtle #babyturtles #Mississippiwildlife

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