Remember this story? It's one year later and we've got another one! Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Herpetologist Brad Poynter has repeated his success in hatching a Northern spider tortoise at The RainForest (read the press release). Although its gender is unknown, the little tortoise has been nicknamed "Patrick" because it hatched on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2008. Patrick arrives in the wake of humbling news that his subspecies (Pyxis arachnoides brygooi) has recently been assessed as critically endangered (turtle species red list) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The tiny tortoise, slightly bigger than a quarter, is doing very well in its tank in The RainForest, daily nibbling on various greens and actively exploring its surroundings. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to get some very early baby photos:
And, if you're wondering how they stack up size wise, here's a photo of the new hatchling (right) with an adult spider tortoise (middle) and the Zoo's hatchling from 2007 (left):