The Mary River Turtle that lives in Australia is certainly one of the most special creatures on this planet. With its punk-rock hair and ability to breathe through the genitals, the “punk turtle” is certainly one of a kind. Unfortunately, like all good things, it is now one of the most endangered species on Earth. This week, the turtle ranked 29th on the Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered list, created by the Zoological Society of London. This fact triggered some desperate calls for a better protection of this special reptile that only lives in a remote part on the east coast of the Australian continent.
According to researcher Marilyn Connell, its most closely related species lived about 50 million years ago. This is how special the Mary River turtle actually is. This reptile walked alongside the dinosaurs when humans were not even on this planet. To let it go extinct would be a huge mistake and failure of the humankind. According to the Zoological Society of London, nobody knows precisely the exact population of this turtle. Once a popular pet for the people in Australia, it is now part of the most endangered species list. Its scientific name is actually Elusor macrurus.
The Mary River turtle is on the brink of extinction
This Mary River turtle has a rather fetching punk hairdo made of green algae. (Image: Chris Van Wyk) pic.twitter.com/o3ksnL2MUJ
— Quite Interesting (@qikipedia) February 14, 2018
It’s worth noting that this turtle doesn’t actually grow that crazy hairdo naturally. Those are in fact algae that grow on its head and sometimes, on its shell. Once, these turtles were known as “Penny Turtles”. Back in the ‘90s, when a Sydney turtle enthusiast rediscovered the species in Queensland, experts classified it as new.
Now, their habitat is fully protected. Certain species of fish were threatening the juvenile turtles, so the researchers gave up on them to protect the “punk turtles”. They survived millions of years and to see them go extinct now would be a terrible shame.
Image source: goodfreephotos