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Old 04-17-2014, 06:25 PM   #1
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Default Beware of Cold-Blooded Americans

Beware of Cold-Blooded Americans
MARCH 21, 2014
Vanessa Barbara

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/22/op...s+News%29&_r=0
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SÃO PAULO, Brazil — AMERICANS are predatory. They invade other countries, prey on native populations and exploit their resources. They are typically voracious, opportunistic and highly adaptive. It is said they are filthy; they can tolerate living in polluted areas and can carry diseases to which locals have no immunity. As we speak, they are causing global ecological damage.

We are talking, obviously, about American red-eared sliders — semiaquatic turtles originally from the southern United States. Over the last few decades, these turtles (officially Trachemys scripta elegans) have spread around the world, prompting some to label the species the reptilian Norway rat (for biologists, this is practically an obscenity). It is listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as one of the 100 worst invasive species in the world. The turtles can be found on every continent but Antarctica, in more than 70 countries and several islands, and in my São Paulo neighborhood...
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