world turtle day

vine

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.