Turtles offer insight into fall habits of Dunes wildlife

Turtles offer insight into fall habits of Dunes wildlife

ivermectin tablet india price They were the first in the small auditorium: the Vassers from South Holland.

ivermectin canada cost Cheri Vasser, 47, along with her husband, Edwin, 47, have brought their sons, Evan, 12, and Eric, 11, to the Dunes State Park ever since they were little boys.

Masterton legorreta conocer gente soltera “The Nature Center is great,” Vasser said. “We’ve been bringing the boys here since they were 3 or 4.” Within a few minutes the room filled. Some taps came from the plastic buckets in front of the audience.

singlebörse alternativ job Silver Firs “Someone’s making a lot of noise here,” Greg Thoman said, letting out a light chuckle. He’s an interpretive naturalist at the Dunes Nature Center. Last week he gave a presentation titled “Fall Turtles.” The presentation explained what these reptiles do as the chilly autumn and winter by Lake Michigan approaches.

One by one, Thoman took the turtles out of their holdings; some in buckets, some in plastic traylike containers with some water. He’d hold one up, and the children in the room would ooh, ahh, and sometimes laugh as the turtles wiggled their heads and legs around in the air. Thoman showed off an eastern box turtle, eastern snapping turtle and eastern painted turtle. He even included an American toad.

Turtles, like mammals, transition into a dormancy phase as the weather gets colder. Except turtles and other reptiles are cold-blooded and they actually go through something called “brumation.” You can think of it as the reptile version, or close equivalent, of hibernation.

“They eat and build up a lot of energy like a bear does before their dormancy,” Thoman said.

The turtles will undergo several physiological changes, such as their metabolisms and heart rates slowing down. They’ll also seek out a safe space for their brumation, which could mean finding a crevice, digging into the ground, or even going underwater.

When it comes to surviving underwater, Thoman explained that the turtles can absorb oxygen through the water. While on the subject of how they breathe, he also said some breathe through their rear ends.

“Their butts serve for defecation, urination, mating, and in the case of some species, they can breathe through their butt,” Thoman said.

Though Thoman did note that some species of turtles are endangered, which can be from both human actions as well as predators that lurk in their habitats, like birds and coyotes.

“We as humans are a bit antagonistic to turtles,” Thoman said.

Thoman finished his presentation by gathering the kids in a semi-circle near the front of the auditorium. He brought some of the turtles and the toad in the middle. He warned the kids this might get a little scary for them. Their curious eyes showed no sign of being fazed.

Thoman pulled out worms and dropped them into the containers holding the animals. They turned their attention to their food and in a flash they would snatch up a worm, and then another. The kids gasped and laughed after each time the turtles and toad snacked on the wriggling worms.

At the program’s conclusion, everyone slowly filed out, imprinted with new knowledge of the critters in the surrounding environment.

The programs here are always great and educational for the kids,” Cheri Vasser said. “It’s some of the stuff they (her sons) may not see in school.”

As for Greg Thoman, he was all smiles.

“When you see kids’ eyes light up or a grin from the adults, that’s what it’s about,” he said.