Quotations from Chairman Carr

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I’ve been an inveterate reader for at least 70 years and am envious of talented wordsmiths, people who express their thoughts and observations so eloquently that reading their writing brings tears to my eyes. One such writer was the chairman of my PhD committee at the University of Florida, the late Archie Carr, whose publications include several books and numerous articles relating to conservation and natural history. He was a herpetologist and the world’s leading authority on sea turtles.

In my lectures in vertebrate zoology and herpetology, I would read excerpts from Carr’s writings to my students. I always read an excerpt from his book, So Excellent a Fishe, describing the behavior of hatchling sea turtles. He and one of his students placed a pane of glass against a sea turtle’s nest to observe how hatchlings behave. Following is a slightly shortened version of his observation.

“Until recent years most people, if they ever thought about the matter at all, believed that in a turtle nest the individual hatchlings, as they emerged from the shell, dug their separate ways up to the surface, through the inches or feet of sand or soil that make the roof of the nest…

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