When I think of mutant reptiles I often think of my childhood obsession with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (affectionally known as TMT). If you have forgotten, the premise of the show is there was the secret “ooze” that was leaked into the sewers and the turtles turned into crime fighting renegades with the help of a life size rat named… Splinter.
Fast forward about twenty years and I see our fine fishery in urban Denver capable of providing all the the life sustaining forces that were present in the sewers of the TMT. We have water (the Platte), boat loads of chemicals, contamination, and possibly the “ooze” (also in the Platte), and of course turtles. Coupling my TMT research with my advanced knowledge of historical events, I would have to say that the turtles of the South Platte are starting to exhibit changes that make me believe that one day we will indeed see the rise of another generation of TMT.
These fearless creatures currently share our fishery with the friendly carp but, I fear, this may change. Noting their exceptional evolutionary pace Michael Gracie and I fear that more attention needs to be drawn to our “heroes in a half-shell”. Thus, today we began our quest to provide the fine citizens of Denver with the evidence in hopes to raise awareness about what we feel is the impending rise of a new generation of TMT.