Welcome to Wiser Now’s weekly email blast which reflects my eclectic interests and, I hope, yours. This week, my focus is on Sea Turtles partly because May is Turtle and Tortoise Month and May 23 is World Turtle Day, but mostly because Mother’s Day is coming up and my mother loved turtles. This issue is in her honor.

I hope you are finding these offerings fun, and perhaps even useful, and I welcome your feedback. ( And if you haven’t yet pressed the subscribe button so this newsletter doesn’t go to spam, please do so now.


The Quirky Quote

Try to be like the turtle,
at ease in your own shell.
~ Bill Copeland

The Quirky Observation

Turtles have been around for hundreds of millions of years. They were dinosaur contemporaries. In some species of turtle, the temperature determines if the egg will develop into a male or female, lower temperatures lead to a male while higher temperatures lead to a female – ancient proof that women are hotter than men from birth.

The Quirky Fact
Turtle candy is made with pecans (sometimes cashews) and caramel dipped in chocolate, with a shape (sort of) resembling a turtle. The name is trademarked by DeMet's Candy Company, which first introduced the yummy concoction in 1918. Another old terrapin.

Just so you know: There are more than 350 species of turtles. Terrapins are a small freshwater turtle. Tortoises are a species of turtles that live primarily on land and have a high-domed shell and elephant-like hind legs. Our quiz concentrates on the seven species of sea turtles.

A Quirky Fact About the Ninja Version

The creators of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles chose the creatures’ sophisticated names from four of their favorite Renaissance artists: Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael, but had them make their home in the sewers of New York City where they battle evil in many forms. While the turtles have distinct personalities, there is no indication that they inspired in viewers an interest in art history at any time during the nearly 40 years they have been around.

The Terrible Turtle Jokes
Most species of turtles are endangered, and even Dr. Seuss’s Yertle the Turtle is a rather somber story, so I looked for turtle jokes to add a little lightheartedness, but they are all groaners. Examples:

What do you get when you cross a porcupine with a tortoise?
A slow poke.

What do you get when you cross a turtle with a pig?
A slow pork.

Q: What kind of photo did the turtle take on his iPhone?
A: A shellfie

The Quiz

Sea turtle eggs have many animal predators, but humans are by far the turtles’ worst enemy because of coastal development that diminishes their nesting and feeding sites, their frequent entanglement in fishing nets, and pollution, including plastic bags in the ocean that are mistaken for jellyfish. Here’s a quick quiz to help you learn more about these magnificent creatures.

Can you guess the answers?
1. Although they have been around for millions of years, there is much scientists don’t know about sea turtles. Which of their senses, do they believe is most developed?
  1. Hearing ___
  2. Sight ___
  3. Smell ___
  4. Tactile/touch ___
  5. Taste ___
2. In what ways do sea turtles differ from land tortoises?
  1. Their shells are flatter, more streamlined. ___
  2. They cannot tuck their heads and legs into their shells. ___
  3. For ease of swimming, they have flippers rather than legs. ___
  4. All of the above ___
3. Sea turtles are cold-blooded reptiles capable of slowing their metabolism, but they still have to surface every few minutes to breathe air.
True ___      False ___

4. Male turtles never return to land after they hatch, spending their entire life in the ocean. Females return to land only to lay eggs, which they may do several times in one season, but not every year.
True ___      False ___

5. It is believed that females will always return to where they were born to lay their eggs.
True ___      False ___

6. Although they may lay 100 or more ping pong ball-like, leathery-shelled eggs at a time,  approximately what percent will survive to adulthood?

a. 75% or more ___
b. about half ___
c. 25% ___
d. probably less than 10% ___

Answers at the end of this document.

Turtle Legends

Turtles have long been symbolic of Mother Earth in many North American Indian (and other) cultures. Many turtles have 13 sections on their shells. In the lunar calendar, there are either 13 full moons or 13 new moons alternating each year, and the moon is associated with female energy. A Native American legend suggests the earth rests on a turtle’s back and imbues the turtle with such attributes as wisdom, patience, strength, stability, longevity, endurance and protection. My mother chose her favorite animal wisely.

On the other hand, (perhaps tired of all the turtle gifts) late in life she switched her loyalty to camels, a somewhat more whimsical animal that obviously symbolizes journeying, but also may be trying to let us know that it is time to find an oasis to restock and replenish our souls. A little self-nurturing is definitely in order these days.

The Question
What animal is most symbolic of the qualities you admire? Discuss with family and friends.

The Shameless Request

Please share Wiser Now Wednesday with anyone you think might be interested, and if you represent an organization that would like a customized version, please send me a note at

Featured Product

This week I’m featuring me. As a potential content provider, I have material up the wazoo,* and as a trainer, my webinars for life enrichment staff are jam-packed with practical, instantly usable ideas. Contact me at

*For those who thrive on word origin stories, it’s true that wazoo was originally a rude term, but I mean it innocently as plentiful, in excess.

The Kiosk of Resources

Answers to the quiz
1. c    2. d     3. b - Green turtles may stay submerged for up to five hours, slowing their heart beat to once every 9 minutes.
4. a    5. a     6. d
My multiple goals are to amuse and inspire you, to share what I and people whom I admire am doing, to stimulate your curiosity and spur you to action. I hope you enjoyed this offering. You can access previous issues here. We welcome your feedback. (
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Copyright (c) 2019 Kathy Laurenhue | All rights reserved.

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