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Old 07-24-2010, 12:37 PM   #1
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Default New Species Comes out of its Shell and onto the Map

New Species Comes out of its Shell and onto the Map
Clam-crushing turtle found in Mississippi and Louisiana
Released: 7/21/2010 11:04:10 AM
Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192

USGS Release: New Species Comes out of its Shell and onto the Map (7/21/2010 11:04:10 AM)
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A new species of turtle no bigger than a small dinner plate has been discovered, bringing the number of native turtle species in the U.S. to 57.
The Pearl River map turtle, discovered by scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, is found only in the Pearl River in Louisiana and Mississippi. It is a relict of sea-level fluctuations between glacial and interglacial periods over 10,000 years ago, which isolated map turtles in different rivers along the Gulf Coast. Eventually, the turtles evolved into unique species confined to a single river system.

USGS scientists Josh Ennen and Jeff Lovich said the turtle, whose new scientific name is Graptemys pearlensis, had previously been confused with another turtle species in a nearby river, the Pascagoula map turtle.
Like the Pascagoula map turtle, the Pearl River map turtle is a native freshwater reptile that lives in large rivers to medium-sized streams. Females are much larger than males, measuring between 6 and 11 inches as adults, and use large crushing surfaces on their jaws to open clams. Males, meanwhile, grow to a comparatively puny 4 to 6 inches and eat some mollusks, but mostly insects and fish.

The discovery, published in Chelonian Conservation and Biology, is a reminder that there are...
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:01 AM   #2
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Very nice! It's good to know that there remain discoveries like this to be made!
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biology, chelonian conservation, clams, evolved, geological survey, graptemys, graptemys pearlensis, louisiana, map, mississippi, new species, pascagoula, pearl, pearl river, pearl river map turtle, pearlensis, shell, species, turtle, turtles, unique, unique species

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