Turtles grow up without parents, which might sound lonely. But for threatened baby turtles raised in a zoo it’s an advantage: they can learn to catch crickets all by themselves. There’s a paradox, though. When they are ready to leave the nursery, there is little wilderness where they can make a home.
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Read more on baby turtles:
Where do turtles live?
Western pond turtles live most of their lives in the water, in freshwater lakes.
What do turtles eat?
The meat-eaters feed on crustaceans like crayfish, dragonfly nymphs and fish.
Are turtles reptiles?
Turtles are reptiles not amphibians. They are considered reptiles since they live in water.
Are turtles endangered?
"There are only 300 species, and most of them are doing quite poorly." The turtles haven’t been doing well in their native habitat in the western United States. In California, they’re a species of “special concern.”
Why can turtles be raised in zoos?
Most turtle species grow up without parents, which makes them easy to raise in zoos and help conservation. Once a female western pond turtle lays her eggs near a lake or pond, she never returns to the nest. Because they lack parental care, turtles don’t imprint on zoo keepers.
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If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, The San Francisco Zoo is currently head-starting nine western pond turtle hatchlings and the Oakland Zoo, 16. The baby turtles at the San Francisco Zoo are on display in the Children’s Zoo, while the Oakland Zoo is raising theirs in a back room where six small tubs create the impression of a maternity ward.
KQED Science: http://www.kqed.org/science
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