In Alabama, a big discovery was made recently... PETER SCOTT: People call it the intermediate musk turtle or aliflora (ph) musk turtle. PETER SCOTT: People call it the intermediate musk turtle or aliflora (ph) musk turtle. All Rights Reserved. As we know Musk turtles are kept as pets. The turtle is endemic to the greater Choctawhatchee River and Escambia River basins.
When I got my data and started analyzing it, the data spoke and said this is worthy of special recognition.”. These turtles are mostly carnivorous and they usually feed on small creatures like snails, crawdads, mollusks, insects and any other small creatures. For a long time, it was thought to be a hybrid between the two subspecies of the loggerhead musk turtle (the loggerhead and striped-neck musk turtle), but in 2017, it was declared a new species based on DNA research. They kind of have chocolate-colored shells with darker markings on them. Longtime conservationist. You have the Mobile Basin draining into the Gulf. With the description of this additional species, we pull ahead of the pack even further with regard to turtle diversity. Who knew that Alabama is prime real estate for all kinds of turtles?
Last month, Bham Now published a series of stories on Alabama’s biodiversity.
Scientists used to think it was a hybrid of two other species, the striped-neck musk turtle and the loggerhead musk turtle. NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR.
That is Peter Scott. SCOTT: It's a small turtle, about 3 or 4 inches long as an adult. It is also known as the aliflora musk turtle or intermediate musk turtle due to its intermediate patterns on the shell. A previous version of the Web introduction for this story incorrectly referred to turtles as amphibians.
Alabama leads the nation in states with the greatest diversity of turtles. We Insist: A Timeline Of Protest Music In 2020. All content on this site is Copyright Rushing Waters Media LLC/Bham Now 2016-2020. Turtles are reptiles. And ecologically the intermediate musk turtle is significant. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. They are kind of puggish-like little turtles. They all have almost the exact distribution that is isolated in these specific watershed, so they have something special and interesting evolutionary going on in this system.”. Scott concluded, “Its good to know that we can describe new animals in our backyards, it reminds us why we need to be conscientious to what we are doing to our environment, because we might be erasing or hurting that something we don’t even know exist yet.”.
Mark Bailey, the co-author of Turtles of Alabama explains. Accuracy and availability may vary. He's a postdoc researcher at UCLA, and we talked to him on Skype about his turtle discovery. KING: Yes, but Scott's research found something else.
So the question arises what do Musk Turtles eat or what is their diet? Scott concluded, “Its good to know that we can describe new animals in our backyards, it reminds us why we need to be conscientious to what we are doing to our environment, because we might be erasing or hurting that something we don’t even know exist yet.” KING: ...A turtle.
When he looked at the hybrid zones between those two species with DNA studies, instead of finding a “hybrid” musk turtle, to his surprise he found a completely new species. That turtle is now named the intermediate musk turtle.
GREENE: So Scott pointed out that the intermediate musk turtle is not necessarily a new species. Peter Scott, a post doctoral scholar at UCLA, who received his PhD at the University of Alabama was not trying to discover a new species of turtle. Finding a new species of turtle cements Alabama’s title as the center of turtle biodiversity in North America.
So the northern part of the state, you have Appalachian Uplands.
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