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  • Writer's pictureJody F

The number thirteen

Thirteen is presented as a curse, an unlucky number. For me, it's a sign of great fortune. The number holds a special significance for me. It shows up in unusual and unexpected places and times. Imagine my shock and delight when I discovered that most turtles naturally have 13 "scutes" (the large scales that make up their carapace)? This adult Painted turtle (pictured) demonstrates the numbered scutes, from one to thirteen. I gave her a lift from where she was found to a first responder vet this morning.


Each time I drive a turtle to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre, I check to see if they're a "thirteen" turtle. I have yet to find one that doesn't have 13 scutes.


Someone needs to tell Taylor Swift.


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