Publicado: Vie, Abril 13, 2018
Ciencia | Por Aurelio Ontiveros

Threatened: A Green-Haired Turtle That May Stand Through Its Genitals

Threatened: A Green-Haired Turtle That May Stand Through Its Genitals

However, perhaps the Mary River turtle's most unusual feature is its ability to breath through its genitals.

"The one with theldquo;mohawk" own hair, officially known as the Mary River turtle, can be the Australian species which split from several other living species about forty million decades ago. The inventory has no shortage of weird and wonderful creatures - a limbless lizard, the world's largest sea turtle, a blind snake, and a chameleon named after Tarzan.

This biological function allows the turtle - referred to as a "butt breather" - to stay underwater for up to three days.

"They have specialised organs in their cloaca which process oxygen from the surrounding water".

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Despite the turtle's punk appearance - derived from vertical strands of algae that also grow on its body - its docile nature made it historically popular as a pet. In fact, it was pet collectors who have raided the turtles" nests in the 1960s and 1970s that have contributed the most the species' downfall - they used to call them "penny turtles.' Alas, these raids have removed an entire generation of turtles from the wild, leaving behind a reduced, aging population. According to the Edge website, "The Mary River Turtle takes an exceptionally long time to reach sexual maturity, with individuals not breeding before the age of 25".

"Reptiles often receive the short end of the stick in conservation terms, compared with the likes of birds and mammals", said Rikki Gumbs, co-ordinator of ZSL's Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) list for reptiles.

"Just as with tigers, rhinos and elephants, it is vital we do our utmost to save these unique and too often overlooked animals".

The EDGE reptile list also includes the Madagascan blindsnake - a pink, wormlike creature that spends its life burrowing through forest soil - the freshwater turtle which uses its distinctive appendage as a snorkel, and the leatherback turtle which can weigh over 900kg. "Many EDGE reptiles are the sole survivors of ancient lineages".

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