world turtle day

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Apparently Monday is World Turtle Day, so here’s a turtle on the Great Barrier Reef…scratching its nose.

Happy World Turtle Day!

Turtles have been on this planet for over 200 million years. However, in a relatively short time (since the rise of humans) they have become threatened – 44% of known turtle species are officially considered critically endangered or vulnerable to extinction.

Today, 23 May, is World Turtle Day. We’ve dived in to The New Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians and discovered some amazing facts about these ancient creatures – what’s your favorite fact about turtles from the five below?

  1. A turtle’s armor shell is unique in the animal kingdom, made of two parts (the back and front) it generally comprises around 50-60 bones.
  2. Most adult turtles and tortoises have a shell length of at least 13cm (5in). The world’s smallest species are the Speckled cape tortoise, Flattened musk turtle, and Bog turtle, whereas the largest living turtle is the Leatherback seaturtle, whose shell reaches up to 244cm (96in).
  3. Although turtles are slow on land, due to their massive shells, when they enter the water they can reach speeds of over 30km/hour (18.6mph).
  4. Some species of turtles migrate over 4,500km (that’s 2,800 miles) to make their nests – which is like travelling the length of the United Kingdom 4.5 times. Whereas others have nesting frenzies, when over 200,000 females nest on the same small beach over two days.
  5. Some aquatic species of turtles don’t just breathe using their lungs – some can also respire through their skin, the lining of the throat, and through thin-walled sacs, or bursae, in the cloaca.

Images: 1) Squirtle, by mem0. CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr. 2) Turtle, by Hiroaki Home. Public domain via Pixabay.

Today is World Turtle Day!

We’re shell-ebrating turtles all day today, and you can too! Here are some links to get you caught up:

Happy World Turtle Day!

Sea turtles ultimately grow from the size of a dinner plate to that of a dinner table. In the case of the leatherback sea turtle, this can take up to a decade. Happy World Turtle Day!

From the TED-Ed Lesson The survival of the sea turtle - Scott Gass

Animation by Cinematic Sweden

vine

It’s World Turtle Day! From a tiny baby bog turtle to a massive leatherback, turtles come in many shapes and sizes. Found gliding through the open ocean or slowly trudging over desert plains, they are fascinating creatures. Because of environmental threats, several species are endangered and need our help. Video of a baby turtle running for the surf by Dry Tortugas National Park.

When this rescued loggerhead turtle arrived at the Aquarium last fall, it weighed just over three ounces. After seven months of care at the Aquarium, it weighs over two pounds! We’re caring for the young turtle until it’s big enough to be released back into the ocean.

Thank you to Louie Zong for the perfect turtle-pairing tune!

In the wild, loggerheads migrate long distances, so they’re particularly vulnerable to accidental capture by commercial fisheries. Learn more:

Turtles can breathe through their butts and pee through their mouths. Source Source 2

Happy World Turtle Day!

Turtle habitats are rapidly disappearing, and both turtles and tortoises are endangered due to many global threats. World Turtle Day was founded to spread awareness and encourage learning about how to help protect these animals and help them thrive.

Originally posted by georgetakei

They are adorable, after all.

Originally posted by stephstuff

I mean, how many other animals do you know that can grow a green mohawk?