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2010 Winning Essays

Thirteen winning essays from the 2010 contest year of the Young Naturalist Awards by students from grade 7 - 12. Winning essays ranged from an exploration of the exit tunnels made by the goldenrod gallfly, to the degradation of our fresh water systems, to a study of snapping turtles in an urban setting.


Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Going for the Green

A golf course can be a beautiful sight for golfers and non-golfers, alike. But does the tremendous amount of manicuring, fertilizing, and pest control behind that beauty spell harm to the animals that dwell there?


Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Investigating the Ecology of Chelydra s. Serpentina, the Common Snapping Turtle, in a Highly Urban Setting

Chelydra s. serpentina, the common snapping turtle, is one of the largest freshwater turtles in North America. This species has a large head, powerful jaws, a long tail, and big forelimbs with large claws. When facing a threat, snapping turtles face their attacker and use their long neck to aggressively lunge forward and bite. Females travel great distances over land to find nesting sites (Hulse 2001, Congdon et. al 1987). Males are highly territorial and fight aggressively (Hulse 2001). This species is known for its tolerance to pollution, and is able to survive and even thrive in habitats where other turtle species perish (Hulse 2001). It is one of a small group of species able to live among humans and tolerate highly unnatural settings. By continuing to learn more about this species, we can help insure that it will remain extant and add to the rich biodiversity of life on Earth.


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