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Worldview

The Rough And Tumble World Of Freshwater Turtles

Regular old turtles can live for at least a hundred years and they have a lot of neat evolutionary adaptations to help them survive.

Jacqueline Litzgus, a professor of biology at Laurentian University, has been studying freshwater turtles her entire life. Those are the creatures that you can find on a hike in the suburbs. Her recent research has taken her to northern Ontario, where she’s studied how turtles hibernate under frozen lakes and rivers — something that other animals like land tortoises and massive sea turtles in warmer climates don’t need to do.

Litzgus has also researched the illegal trade of freshwater turtles for export. They’re a delicacy in other parts of the world and are sometimes used for religion and cultural purposes. Her articles appear in The Conversation: “The secret to turtle hibernation: Butt-breathing” and “The illegal turtle trade: Why I keep secrets.”

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