Mystery in a shell

Mystery in a shell

jejum e oração para namoro Guarabira Turtles are a special kind of animal. Kids seem to grow up loving their occasional turtle encounters and don’t mind waiting for long periods of time for that shy turtle to come back out of its shell. The affection for turtles seems to carry into adulthood, as it is not uncommon to see a car pulled over on a rural road so the kind driver can help a turtle safely cross it.

how much pour on ivermectin for humans Melipilla This story begins and ends with a mystery. As invasive honeysuckle was being cut down one early March weekend, the author of this article encountered a fresh-looking empty turtle shell. Being a coordinator of science education, he threw the shell into a bag for students to enjoy later. A few minutes later another shell was found, then another, and another. By the end of the weekend, 26 fresh-looking empty turtle shells had been found on the same relatively small hillside. However, no turtles were found on neighboring hillsides.

A long history

 Before we continue on with this mystery, let’s take a closer look at the turtle. Turtles have experienced a whole lot more than we humans have. The turtles we know today have been around for over 200 million years. They peered out of their shells while other giant reptiles such as the Tyrannosaurus rex walked by, and they managed to survive a giant asteroid impact that killed the biggest of Earth’s inhabitants in this period of time.

vegas magic slot pragmatic There are more than 260 species of turtles on Earth, but today we are talking about the familiar and friendly box turtles. A hard-top shell, called the carapace, and a bottom shell, called the plastron, characterize these box turtles. The plastron has a hinged front end that is used as a door when the turtle is seeking some protection.

Lobatse fantasy football draft round strategy A surprising new find suggests that while the turtle has really not evolved much in its 200 million years, the purpose of the shell has changed. It is believed that the shell originally evolved to help the turtle burrow underground. These days the turtle uses the shell more for protection than for burrowing. Turtles enjoy a long life for a wild animal. The average box turtle can live in the forest for 40 to 50 years assuming it stays away from roads. It was once believed you could estimate the age of turtles by the number of markings on their shells. This has proved unreliable.

Turtle graveyard

 Now that we know a little more about turtles, let’s get back to the dead turtle mystery. The Missouri Department of Conservation was contacted and, as usual, its staff was quite helpful and interested. There are two possibilities. The ranavirus: This virus is quite fatal in turtles when it infects an area and could explain a mass die-off in a relatively small area. The virus is spread mainly through fish and reptile populations but does not survive in body temperatures greater than 30 degrees Celsius. The problem for scientists is that to confirm this virus as a cause of death, the internal organs need to be tested, and turtles’ insides decay very quickly after death.

The weather: Late winter weather has been characterized by abnormally warm conditions. The Missouri Department of Conservation says that a late February string of 70-degree days can trick the turtles to come out of their hibernation way too early. Then when the temperatures cool back down to normal, the turtles freeze to death. This is also hard to confirm, as the evidence would just be the absence of any other cause.

So the good news is that the Missouri Department of Conservation is on top of issues like this. The bad news is that there is not much we can do about either of the situations — particularly the weather. What is even more alarming is that the turtle populations are declining fairly rapidly because their habitats are being broken up by human development. This is causing the turtles to have to cross dangerous roads to find food, and, as you know, this doesn’t always work out well for the turtle.