Turtles may be able to teach us a thing or two about the secret to long life. They are one of the longest living creatures on the planet, the species itself predating dinosaurs. One of the oldest known members of the species found dates as far back as 220 million years ago. Not only are turtles slow movers across land but apparently they’re slow movers across time as well. In general, turtles are gentle and harmless. Yet, one species can become a bit of a nuisance for homeowners that live near bodies of water, especially creeks and streams. This species is infamously known as the snapping turtle.
Facts, Figures and A Little Family History
Wisconsin is known for eleven different species of turtles- most commonly the painted turtle and the snapping turtle. Ten out of these eleven species spend the winter under the water either beneath the mud or right on top of it. Maybe the reason they have survived so long throughout history is the sturdy way they are built. Sixty different bones make up just their shell alone. Their skin is thick and scaly, preventing any water from entering their body. However, turtles aren’t free from predation. Cars are the main reason for their high mortality rate. Loss of habitat comes in at a close second. They also fall prey to coyotes, foxes and skunks. The Department of Natural Resources has launched the Wisconsin Turtle Conservation Program to remind drivers to slow down and watch for turtles. Volunteers urge local government to install turtle road crossing signs.