So many turtle drawings...

Seeing as I have produced so many turtle drawings throughout my career as an artist I thought it time I write another article on the subject. I have tried my very best to make my drawings of turtles as varied as possible but can't help falling in love with the giants of the turtle world that frequent our oceans.

Without boring the life out of you all with numerous turtle facts I thought it best I share the time with you that I got to spend time up close and personal with a green turtle. I would love to tell you all it was from a time I spent on the corals of Belize or snorkeling in the Gulf of Siam but it was from a local Aquarium. I was at the time, working for various animal parks in the area and for some complicated reasons ended very early one morning feeding the turtles in Bournemouth Aquarium.

Being a self-confessed turtle know it all and lover, I was delighted to be of help and very willing to get stuck in.

Knowing full well what turtles love to eat in the wild, I didn't have a clue what they ate in aquariums, as an obvious source of live jellyfish could prove pretty hard to procure on a daily basis. So the question came up, What do turtles eat, or rather what do your aquarium turtles in particular eat.

I never for one minute expected the answer I got, 'Brussel sprouts' it seemed they couldn't get enough of them.

Pencil drawing of a turtle hatchling crossing the sand
Hatchling, limted edition print by David Dancey-Wood.

I can't help but feel a bit of sadness as I remember these guys swimming around and around the large tank they had come to think of as home. Both were unable to be returned to the wild for various reasons and were destined to spend the rest of their days in this artificial environment. How long this would be could in fact be quite ironic as often the lifespan of animals in captivity is extended quite considerably in comparison to their wild companions. How long do turtles live I hear you ask? The answer being very comparable to human beings, with most averaging around sixty years. Without the diseases, pollution, predation, and the environmental damage of humans, turtles in captivity, although facing more psychological problems, will probably fare much better than in the polluted oceans of the current damaged planet.

It is pretty obvious why turtles are endangered as a species and why they are facing such a bleak future when they are one of the oldest creatures to have lived on this planet, and it is one of the saddest stories of animal extinction.

I, as an artist who loves the world around him in all its peculiar forms, will continue to draw and produce pictures of these delightful animals to record them in as many ways as I can.

Let's hope this is not the only way future generations will have to view them.

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