Wildlife

The Secret Lives of Turtles

Specialized adaptations make these well-camouflaged reptiles some of Earth’s most ancient creatures
By Brian M. Collins
Published: October 1, 2012
turtle
Photo by PhotoSpin.com
Stereotyped as slow and vulnerable, turtles are a richly diverse group of ancient reptiles that offer many surprises. Did you know that softshell turtles are lightning-quick? That wood turtles feast on summer berries? That an alligator snapping turtle lures fish to their doom with a wiggly worm-like lure on its tongue? Slow to grow, some turtles don’t begin reproducing until they’re 20 years old, and many make overland migrations and endure bitter winters each year. Indeed, life in the slow lane is interesting.
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