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Davidson Biological Study Nets A "Whopper-Snapper"

big turtle
Ross Cocklin and Wrenn Martin with their state record turtle

September 13, 2000
Contact: Bill Giduz 704/894-2244 or bigiduz@davidson.edu

Davidson students Ross Cocklin and Wrenn Martin pulled this state record 53-pound snapping turtle out of a local farm pond as part of an ongoing mark-release study of turtles in the Davidson area. Cocklin, a senior from Owensboro, Ky., and Martin, a senior from Marietta, Ga., are biology majors currently working with Michael Dorcas, assistant professor of biology, in Davidson's herpetology laboratory.

The "whopper snapper" was captured using an aquatic turtle trap baited with sardines. It is being marked and studied in the lab, and will be released by the end of the week.

Professor Dorcas's study is documenting the natural history of native species in the area, providing data that can help conservationists preserve wildlife in the face of residential and commercial development.

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