Sunday, June 07, 2015 04:00 PM


The newest members of the Roadrunner Nation won’t be found in class beside you.

They’re babies. They are turtle hatchlings to be exact, and the first born in Dalton State College’s Turtle Assurance Colony.

The colony is part of the international Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), which is a conservation group formed in response to the disappearance of turtles in Asia where they are sought for food. Members of TSA try to encourage breeding of endangered turtle species from different regions around the world. The college’s colony is less than a year old.

The three hatchlings are Home’s Hingeback Tortoises (Kinixys homeana), which is a species native to central Africa. They are on the endangered list.

“These turtles are our first official success,” said Chris Manis, a part-time instructor in natural sciences and research associate who oversees the colony. “They were conceived here, the eggs developed here, and they hatched here. This species is rarely successfully bred in captivity. And to do so in less than a year gives us a lot of promise for what we’ll be able to achieve with this colony.”

The work being done at Dalton State could help ensure the survival of several species. Currently the college is home to eight ...

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