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Drive Down Bayou Lafourche

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Drive Down Bayou Lafourche
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Version 6.0

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF NATURAL HISTORY, ECONOMIC, AND CULTURAL ASPECTS OF THE DRIVE FROM NEW ORLEANS TO GRAND ISLE, PORT FOURCHON, AND ELMER’S ISLAND, LOUISIANA

By Robert A. Thomas, Loyola Center for Environmental Communication, School of Communication & Design, Loyola University New Orleans, & Louisiana Master Naturalists of Greater New Orleans (rathomas@loyno.edu, 504-865-2107)

Alligator (Loggerhead) Snapping Turtle

Delta Journal
by Bob Thomas

The largest freshwater turtle in North America is the alligator snapping turtle, Macroclemys temminckii, often locally called the loggerhead (not to be confused with the loggerhead sea turtle that is common along Louisiana’s coast).

This species is brown, has three rows of large pointed scutes down the back, a very long tail, and a massive head that cannot be entirely withdrawn into the shell. Overall, it looks like a rough stump in the water.

Cricket Frogs (genus Acris) and Apostatic Selection

Nature Notes
by Bob Thomas

Possibly the most abundant frog species in our area are the northern cricket frog, Acris crepitans, and the southern cricket frog, Acris gryllus. The northern cricket frog occurs throughout Louisiana, and the southern cricket frog occurs only in the Florida Parishes north of Lake Pontchartrain. Although the northern cricket frog ranges further to the west, both essentially have a southeastern United States distribution.