ENDURING LOVE. It seems to me that this report on new scientific research should inspire a lyric poet. The Economist gave me a lead to this article in the Telegraph. Scientists at the University of Tubingen describes the fossils of nine turtle couples from the Eocene epoch (about 47 million years ago). I refer to them as “couples” rather than “pairs” because each couple consisted of a male and a female and all nine couples were engaged in copulation when they died. The article has a picture of one turtle couple. The scientists think that: “the turtles initiated copulation in habitable surface waters, perished when their skin started to absorb poisons while sinking during their embrace into deeper portions of the lake made toxic from the build up of volcanic gases or decay of organic matter….” I admit that there are a lot of ways of thinking about this, but I take a romantic view.The turtles persisted in love and were—like figures in classical myths who are changed into statues—frozen together for millions and millions of years.

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