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Turtles are reptiles, older even than the dinosaurs they have managed to establish themselves on every continent except Antartica and can survive in a wide range of habitat.

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Dorse’s Turtle- a new species of freshwater turtle

Turtles are ancient, ectothermic (cold-blooded) air breathing reptiles, which are found on every continent except Antarctica and can survive in a wide range of habitats. There are approximately 300 species, varying in size from the huge marine Leatherback turtle which can weigh over 900 kg and measure 2.7 metres, to the tiny terrestrial Speckled Padloper weighing 140g and growing to 8cm in length.

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Falling and Flying

There is a famous photograph of construction workers on the Rockefeller Centre in New York sitting in a row along a narrow girder, hundreds of metres above the street, having a relaxing lunch break without the security of safety harnesses, ropes or handrails. Even looking at these photos unnerves many people, because we humans generally have an instinctive fear of being pulled to our deaths by the force of gravity. How do these forces work?

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Dormancy is an adaptation utilised by a wide variety of living organism to cope with adverse environmental condition and to conserve energy.

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We commonly use the term parasite as quite an apt description of self-interested human hangers-on who benefit from the work of others without contributing anything themselves. The term used more scientifically, generally refers to an individual organism (parasite) which has a close association with an individual organism of another species (host) in which the parasite takes from the host and does it harm.

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Why does attentiveness to nature matter? In a very fundamental sense, we are what we pay attention to. Paying heed to beauty, grace, and everyday miracles promotes a sense of possibility and coherence that runs deeper and truer than the often illusory commercial, social "realities" advanced by mainstream contemporary culture. ... Our attention is precious, and what we choose to focus it on has enormous consequences. What we choose to look at, and to listen to--these choices change the world. As Thich Nhat Hanh has pointed out, we become the bad television programs that we watch. A society that expends its energies tracking the latest doings of the celebrity couple is fundamentally distinct from one that watches for the first arriving spring migrant birds, or takes a weekend to check out insects in a mountain stream, or looks inside flowers to admire the marvelous ingenuities involved in pollination. The former tends to drag culture down to its lowest commonalities; the latter can lift us up in a sense of unity with all life. The Way of Natural History, edited by Thomas Lowe Fleischner and published by Trinity University Press (Texas)