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Turtles targeted by humans while crawling across roads (VIDEO)

Researchers at Clemson University found that some drivers showed their dark sides by intentionally moving to hit the slow-moving reptiles.

turtle roadEnlarge
A new study has shown that people intentionally swerve to crush turtles that have strayed onto roadways. (Stephen Morton/Getty Images)

A new study shows that a surprising number of people actually swerve to hit turtles trying to cross roadways.

Researchers at Clemson University found that some drivers showed their dark sides by intentionally moving to hit the slow-moving reptiles.

The study used rubber turtles placed in the center of a lane on a residential road, said Smithsonian.

Researcher, Nathan Weaver, then sat back and watched what happened.

To his surprise, many people went out of there way to crush the innocent (plastic) creature.

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"I've heard of people and from friends who knew people that ran over turtles. But to see it out here like this was a bit shocking," said Weaver, a 22-year-old senior at Clemson, according to ABC News.

On the first occasion, he counted 267 cars passing by with seven of those intentionally swerving to hit the turtle.

A week later he went to a more quiet area.

The second of 50 cars to pass by crossed over lanes to crush the turtle.

When he tried to fetch the turtle, another car swerved to hit it before he could grab the plastic reptile, said ABC News.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/121229/turtles-targeted-humans-while-crawling-across-roads-video