Turtles Are Not This Smart*

* But they are at least as smart as the dumb people who thought up this boondoggle. This is indicative of the mindset of people who really do not know the value of a dollar, combined with the total ignorance of how turtles think and act, among other things. This is just one of the more ridiculous things that  our money is being spent on.  Look, I would have no problem with this project if I thought that  turtles would actually use and benefit from this underpass built with several million of our dollars- of course, that would be an awful lot of turtles to make this project cost- effective.

The 13-foot tunnel near Tallahassee, Fla., runs under Highway 27 — a busy road that has the highest road-kill rate for turtles in the world, according to state officials. 
Josh Boan, the Florida Transportation Department’s natural resources manager, said a large number of turtles and other wildlife are killed in the area. In addition to protecting wildlife, he said the project is needed for safety: turtles hit by vehicles can become flying projectiles.

This is an example of government gone wild  with regards to budgets.  If turtles would or could use this, perhaps  could almost wrap my mind around this, as I have spent countless amounts of time picking turtles off of roads where they are trying to get to the other side for whatever reason.

But the sad fact is that turtles are not reasoning creatures- they do not see this tunnel and think, “Cool, a better way to cross”, simply because they do not think on a cogent level. They are primatives in their thoughts, reacting to danger and comfort pretty much exclusively.

In studies, the turtle was shown to not even notice cars, since the speed of these cars were above the perception of these creatures. Nor have they ever been shown to have any logical thought processes- they are strictly instinctual creatures, so they will not travel to a tunnel to cross the road, because they are incapable of the thought it would take to make that connection. Therefore, all creatures who did employ this tunnel would truly do so by accident.

Don’t you think there could be better uses for what little money we really have, than to satisfy some delusional politician’s ecological feel- good nonsense at this time?  I grew up catching snakes and turtles- I know how they think, and I am sympathetic to their plight, but this is so wrong- headed as to defy common sense on several levels. Turtles will cross the road whereever they come to the road, and that is a sad fact.< So say goodbye to 3.4 million dollars of your money, used on something that will not help that which it is intended to do- but that is the story of America's government when it comes to spending our money- they just have to spend it, or they will have some kind of budgetary aneurysm, and they just have to spend it on worthless stuff that sounds great, but does nothing.

Can’t we just, for once, actually spend money wisely? Does the President and Congress have to act like drunken lottery winners, spending money just because they can?

This is money we can not spare, not even for turtles.


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27 Responses to “Turtles Are Not This Smart*”

  1. In on it not says:

    It isn’t only the delusional politician’s ecological feel- good nonsense we are up against; it is people who personify animals and call themselves enviromentalists. They demand the tunnels!
    Deer tunels in the midwest, caribo tunnels on the Alaska pipeline and snake tunnels in DC. From Dulles to the capital…

    • Blake says:

      In on it not- I could almost understand deer tunnels, and caribou tunnels- they have the intelligence to be able to use them- turtles do not, therefore this tunnel is useless to the turtles this was allegedly intended for.
      The person who thought this up is missing more than a few brain cells.

      • Darrel says:

        Maybe we just need to hire some folks to train the turtles. What are Karl Rove, Gonzales and countless others who used to work for Bush doing now? Probably up to no good again. Maybe they could do something useful now. Become turtle trainers.

        Taming and Training Reptiles FAQ.


        • Blake says:

          Are yo volunteering for going into the wilderness to “train” turtles to do this? Pavlovian response might do the trick, but ON THEIR OWN they will not go to the tunnel. I guarantee this, and to say differently is to be more ignorant than the turtles.

  2. Big Dog says:

    Maybe we could have Congress do it and they won’t have time to mess up the country.

  3. Adam says:

    This is like John McCain’s twitter joke about beaver management. He only ended up looking the fool when it turned out to be a serious issue for the area in question and it showed how little McCain had even considered the project before mocking it.

    Blake should really look into this project more before he draws the conclusions that it is a useless, wasteful project that won’t even work.

    On the waste side the reality is this is construction work, a struggling industry right now, on a project that will fix a very real problem that is very important to this area and has a thousands of supporters advocating for it. The Lake Jackson Turtles website has more details.

    You say it won’t work because you think the turtles aren’t smart enough to say, “Hey there’s a tunnel, now I won’t get run over by those fast moving things!” It has nothing to do with smarts.

    Here is a photo of a temporary measure. Turtles and other wildlife will actually be prevented from getting on the highway by walls and essentially herded to the tunnels where they can cross safely.

    Simple right? Too simple for Blake to investigate first, I guess.

    I had a couple of box turtles growing up. I think they were a lot brighter then than Blake is now but I’d need to get the turtles back for a side by side comparison to say for sure.

    • Blake says:

      Adam, I have studied more reptiles than you over the years, and I know what I know. Turtle’s perceptions are such that they do not reason something like a tunnel- Deer can, coyotes can, but reptiles cannot learn from just seeing a tunnel- they cannot extrapolate the freedom from getting run over, because their perceptive cognition is such that cars do not register as a threat until about a mile AFTER they have been run over.
      Listen- if I truly thought it would do some good, and we had the money for it, hooray! But it won’t, we don’t and its a fools errand.
      Insulting me is just your way of admitting your weak argument.

      • Adam says:

        I insult you because you are an idiot who cannot read for comprehension. Why don’t you go back and read my “weak argument” one more time carefully and if you still think I’m arguing that the tunnel depends on how smart turtles are then you’ve probably got brain damage.

        • Blake says:

          The weak- ass argument is the wall, idiot. The length of the hiway, BOTH sides? Get real.

        • Blake says:

          The fact that I am right and you are not really ticks you off, doesn’t it?

        • Adam says:

          Right, now the argument is the wall, and not that the turtles are too dumb to find the tunnel? Moving the goal posts?

          I’m not ticked off in the least bit. You just keep on making it easy for me to show the world how dumb and unthinking you really are. How can that not be fun?

    • Blake says:

      This is worse than make- work- its just a way for some “useful idiots” to feel good about themselves. The wall would have to run the length of the highway in question, and cost multi- millions- and that’s just one road. There are thousands of roads in the South and elsewhere where turtles are run over- what about them? We could not possibly do this to all of them- that is an asinine assumption, totally unrealistic, especially with this economy.

      • Adam says:

        The project actually does cost multi-millions and proposes walls to along each side of the 0.9 mile stretch crossing Lake Jackson with two tunnels in the middle. Also the project protects more than just turtles as you keep suggesting.

        This has nothing to do with saving all turtles on all roads. It’s just one spot where an abnormal amount of wildlife is killed which in turn puts people at risk at the same time. Animals get protection, people are put to work, and those active in the community who have really been pulling for the project for so long can move on to better things. It’s win, win, win.

        • Blake says:

          Except that part of this boondoggle is my money. If the state of Florida wants it bad enoughthey will pay for it- if Florida cannot, then these active in the community” should donate- perhaps have a bake sale, or throw stones at Adam (he’ll volunteer, right?).

  4. Adam says:

    Blake once again rushed headlong into an argument based on a subject he has done very little research into before forming his opinion. Oh, he’s seen many reptiles in his days, folks, so that qualifies him to judge this project he clearly knew nothing about when writing this entry.

    Blake’s argument is simply that it won’t work because turtles don’t have the intellectual capability to choose to take the tunnel, so it’s a waste of money and a “boondoggle.”

    It is a simple minded argument irrelevant in the light that the project is for 2.5 to 5 foot high walls along a 0.9 mile stretch of highway that will essentially force animals to take one of the two middle tunnels in order to cross the road.

    The fact that this is an important, useful, and feasible local priority project that qualifies for stimulus money because it will create work is lost on him.

    Watch Blake continue to insist he is not wrong about anything though. He can never bring himself to admit his errors.

    • Darrel says:

      My favorite line was:

      “Insulting me is just your way of admitting your weak argument.” -Blake

      Does this mean Blake is admitting his argument is weak every time he insults people?

      I think he may be on to something there.


      • Blake says:

        It is impossible to insult you D- you make that task superfluous.

        • Darrel says:

          I think you are on to something again Blake. I ignore insults because I know they are a substitute for reasoned argument, which is what I am interested in.

          You don’t spend most of your time throwing insults because you have good reasons to support your claims. You act this way because you don’t.


    • Blake says:

      The fact is that this is just a feel good project that unnecessarily uses money we can use for something we actually do need. Its called priorities folks, something Hussein needs to learn- but then so do the rest of the politicians in Washington. Turtles are (sorry) small potatoes compared to other priorities that should be addressed before turtles.
      If you like the turtle project so much, then get the state of Florida to pay for it, not the Nation.

      • Adam says:

        “I would have no problem with this project if I thought that turtles would actually use and benefit from this underpass…”

        You act like this project is just so stupid and lacking of common sense that everybody should know it will not work. After all, turtles aren’t that bright, right? They’ll never know to use it, right?

        Your argument is perhaps the most hilariously flawed argument I’ve seen in a while. If I hadn’t seen you build up to such funny conclusions in the past I might think you were joking now.

        Yet, this is not the first project of it’s kind. For instance skim through this final report on Paynes Prairie ecopassage project in Florida started about 10 years ago that has had a lot of success. The report states:

        Wildlife mortality decreased substantially on US Highway 441 across Paynes Prairie State Preserve after construction of the Paynes Prairie ecopassage, although trespass has not been prevented completely. However, the wall-culvert design was effective in reducing and, in some cases, nearly eliminating highway-related mortality and yet allowed for the passage of some individuals under this very busy highway.

        See that? The wall-culvert design was effective on that project. Do you think it won’t be effective at Lake Jackson? If not let’s hear why, otherwise admit it will work and declare your support for this project as you said you would have no problem doing.

        If a feel good project creates jobs in hard times like these on work that both protects drivers and is part of good wildlife stewardship, then what is the downside again? What is more important than that?

        • Darrel says:

          But Blake was very concerned about wildlife when he thought he could use it as reason to be against windmills.

        • Blake says:

          Well, for starters- we do not have the money for half- assed projects like these- we need to get ourselves out of the muck first. second, its less than a mile total- the hypocrisy abounds when you consider the rest of the roads that can’t get this treatment.
          And yes, D- I do not care if you die, but I do care for wildlife- I just do not do it in an idiotic way, for a feel good result like apparently liberals do. The fact that this makes sense to you in this day and time, when we have no money, shows how out of touch you both are.

        • Adam says:

          You’re still ignoring several obvious facts here though in your own ignorant stubbornness.

          First of all money has been allotted already, like it or not. Either we spend it on this or we spend it on something else. What would you rather spend it on, because it’s getting spent either way. It’s the stimulus.

          Second, this is not a half-assed project. This is a project that has been in the planning stages for many years and is modeled on another hugely successful project from the late 90’s that virtually eliminated roadkill on a stretch of road in Paynes Prairie Florida.

          Third, this is not some average stretch of highway where politicians just want to do something to feel good and save some turtles. This is one of the worst spots for roadkill in the nation located right inside an important wetlands area in Florida. The risk to people and animals is real.

          Fourth, it’s not hypocrisy to want to fix the worst spots for road kill, period.

          I should have known you’d balk at supporting this. To go back and say you support it would be to admit you were wrong to start with.

          I may be stubborn and believe I am right all the time, but when I am wrong I have the courage to admit it. You’re such an intellectual coward that you will never admit when you were so clearly and utterly wrong.

          Or maybe I am wrong. Let’s hear it from others on the site and see what they think…

        • Darrel says:

          ADM: “Or maybe I’m wrong.”

          Nope, not wrong.


        • Blake says:

          Adam, when I am wrong, I will admit it, but this project is ill timed, because it is not the turtles who need the stimulus, and I am sure that there are other projects that could use the money more. The time to do this project is when we have some extra money. There are streets in Delaware and other places that could use repaving because they are a danger to people.
          Its a matter of priorities- lets not skew them. Our focus has to be narrow, because despite Hussein saying different, we do not have the money for everything.
          Darrel- I am very concerned about wildlife- but you I don’t give a rat’s ass about.

        • Darrel says:

          Maybe someday Blake will learn that his insults tell nothing about the person he is insulting, but quite a bit about him.

          Or not.

        • Blake says:

          in your case D- or not.