Apalone ferox Florida Softshell
Fairchild Tropical Garden, Coral Gables, Miami-Dade County, FloridaDecember 29, 1998
Florida Softshell (Apalone ferox)
The 83 acres of Fairchild Tropical Garden are home to a wide variety of native and introduced herps. In addition to several of these softshells, we also saw brown anoles, green anoles, bark anoles, a Knight anole, and a dozen large green iguanas. A few American alligators inhabit the lakes on the garden grounds too, though we didn't see them.
Fairchild Tropical Garden, Coral Gables, Miami-Dade County, FloridaDecember 27, 2002
Florida Softshell (Apalone ferox)
Four years later, and the turtles at Fairchild Tropical Garden haven't changed much, or even moved much. They are real live turtles though, I assure you.
Fairchild Tropical Garden, Coral Gables, Miami-Dade County, FloridaFebruary 4, 2004
Florida Softshell (Apalone ferox)
When I arrived at Fairchild Tropical Garden shortly after it opened, I spotted this turtle trundling slowly across dry land. But when it saw me coming it put on a burst of turtle speed and dove into a shallow pond. Once in the pond it was perfectly content to hang around nearby, but it sure didn't want to get caught on land.
Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park, Miami-Dade County, FloridaMarch 15, 2008
Florida Softshell (Apalone ferox)
Now that's a big, weird-looking, leathery turtle with a funny snout. It's soft shell has certainly seen its share of scratches.
Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park, Miami-Dade County, FloridaMarch 23, 2013
Florida Softshell (Apalone ferox)
If anything, they are even weirder looking when basking on the shore than when floating in the water.
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