It’s not a good year for the environment.
One day, this robot will ride you.
Turtles likely used their retracting necks to initially catch prey and only later used this trait for defense.
Every summer, turtle hatchlings have to quickly dig up the sand of their nests and start a perilous journey towards the sea. This delicate process is very energy consuming, but there’s power in numbers.
Conservation efforts have failed dramatically as this emblematic species comes closer to extinction. Four years ago, there were an estimated 200 southern river terrapins (Batagur affinis edwardmolli), or Royal Cambodian Turtles in the wild. Now, it seems the population has dwindled down by 95%, as just 10 remain in the wild. The news comes just 16 years after the species was
“Hey, what did you find” “We found a bio-florescent turtle!”, a researcher triumphantly declared. David Gruber, a biologist at City University of New York, and colleagues made the find while diving in the Solomon Islands this July. Previously, researchers have found ever growing evidence of bio-luminescence and bio-fluorescence in the animal kingdom, from coral to seahorses, but this was the first time anyone has laid sight on a glowing reptile.
The Great Barrier Reef, which stretches 2,000km (1,200 miles) along the coast, is the world’s largest living ecosystem. Environmental groups are pushing to get the reef listed as “in danger” by the UNESCO, so that the Australian government would have to work harder to protect it from various dangers such as pollution, dredging, fishing and so on. The UN says this
Studying the fossil remains of an ancient reptile-like creature, paleontologists gained valuable clues and insights that help explain how turtles got their most uncanny feature: the shell. The newly named species, Pappochelys, Greek for “grandfather turtle”, lived some 240 million years ago and fills an evolutionary sweet spot sitting between earlier turtle ancestors and more recently established species.
A turtle named Akut-3 was fitted with a new, custom made 3-D printed jaw by doctors at the Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation centre at Pamukkale University in Denizli, Turkey. The reptile was found badly injured at sea and brought to the center for rehabilitation. At first, the doctors healed the turtle’s wounds and hand fed her, but they knew they had to turn to something more drastic if the animal was to ever fend for herself in the wild again. They turned to a company in Turkey known for custom made prostheses, gave them a detailed CT scan of the turtle’s skull, then received a new beak made out of medical-grade titanium. The prosthesis perfectly fit Akut-3, who is aptly named like a cyborg.
When it comes to human prosthetics, there are usually many options available – from simple frames or tools, to advanced, electronic prosthetics. But life isn’t as easy for turtles; such was the case of Blade, a German tortoise with a growth disorder that left his legs so weak that he couldn’t hold himself up. Now, thanks to the ingenuity of this
This amazing animal is the pig-nosed turtle (Carettochelys insculpta), a native to the freshwater rivers, streams and lagoons of the Northern Territory in Australia and parts of southern New Guinea. With its delicate piggy snout, webbed flippers and beautiful colors, this turtle gives to show yet again why Australia is home to some of the world’s wackiest creatures. And although it
Fossil hunting can be exciting and highly rewarding, but sometimes, fossils are also found through a fluke. Jeff Dornbusch, a volunteer with the Truth or Consequences museum in southern New Mexico (a museum of local history and tradition), was taking a hike on his day off when he stumbled on what he initially thought was a pile of rocks. “I never really
Eggs, drugs and human lives For the standards of the criminals who poach and smuggle animals in Central America, it was just another day. But for the rest of the world, the murder of conservationist Jairo Mora Sandoval is a tragedy – a tragedy highlighting the risks faced by biologists whose passion for nature puts them on the front line
Turtles are maybe the most majestic creatures in the reptile world, and have always been a source of inspiration for man. Everybody knows the fable of the turtle and the hare, which teaches how slow, but sturdy and resilient strides can outwit inconsistent sprints. The turtle’s really serious about it, and as evidence it practices what it preaches. You see,
We’ve written about some bizarre animals in the past, but just when you think nothing can come as a surprise… well, meet the Chinese soft-shelled turtle, an animal that has an unique ability, never before encountered in the animal kingdom – it can urinate through its mouth. This is definitely not your typical turtle, even its appearance warns that there’s something
The guys over at WHOI are doing more and more interesting things every day; just a few days ago I wrote about Noah’s ark debate and guess what: they’re in the highlights today also. This time it’s with an underwater robot developed by Stephen Licht, named Finnegan (after a James Joyce comic, Finnegan’s wake) because he was especially interested in