Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Manatees and Terrapins

Out near Cape Cod, scientists are trying to keep track of a manatee that has made its way north. Manatees are unusual but certainly not unheard of up here. Three years ago, one swam up the Hudson River and another (or maybe the same one -- I forget) was spotted in Rhode Island waters. The concern now, according to this story, is that the waters will get too cold for the Cap manatee, although why that should be an issue for a mammal -- as opposed to a cold-blodded sea turtle, for example -- isn't clear to me.

DSC00285 In Maryland, scientists are trying to keep diamond-backed terrapins from disappearing. Amazingly, there was a legal commercial harvest of terrapins in Maryland until as recently as last year. There's a good story about the situation here. Back in '03, the Times published a piece about the work Matt Draud, of LIU-C.W. Post, is doing to study Long Island Sound's terrapins, which I wrote about more briefly here. Track down Joseph Mitchell's piece, "Better than Monkey Glands," in Up in the Old Hotel, for a great account of terrapins as a culinary item.

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