Introduction: Turtley Awesome Dig-Site Discovery
I'm not posting a full instructable of this, because I built it from a kit which is rather hard to come by :)
I don't know what you might use if you wanted to make an artificial look-alike, but somebody will probably work it out and write an -ible for it.
Okay. so, on to the [slightly more] serious stuff now:
In September 2008, while digging a hole for a post in my family's garden (you can vote for it here ), I found an old turtle shell burried in the ground. When I tried lifting it out of the hole, which was over half a meter deep, it separated into lots of pieces. Part of the shell was off to the side of the hole, making it difficult to find and retreive all of the pieces. I also recovered most of the skeleton and the remains of 16 eggs. After collecting as many bits and pieces as I could, I carefully cleaned each part and then began the process of fitting them back together, which was certainly no easy task. A few days later, I'd finally solved the puzzle and was able to glue them together in their proper arrangement. Surprisingly, out of the more than fifty shell pieces, only a few are cracked and just one is missing entirely.
The eggs indicate that the turtle was a female, and after some research on google, I've concluded that it isthe shell of an eastern long-necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis). It was possibly buried about 12 years ago when our dam was originally dug out and the topsoil was dumped in the area beside it. The shell was positioned on its front, just about horizontal and facing towards the dam.
Common Name: Eastern or Common Long Necked Turtle
Scientific Name: Chelodina longicollis
Carapace* Length: 20-30cm (mine is 34cm)
Common Foods: crayfish, tadpoles and fish
Distribution: Freshwater systems in South Eastern Australia,
as far north as Townsville.
*The carapace is the dorsal (back), convex (domed) part of the shell structure of a turtle. ~Wikipedia