Bask in the glow – It’s World Turtle Day
For the last 20 years, on May 23, turtle lovers everywhere emerge to honour these shelled reptiles that have roamed the Earth for more than 200 million years. The over 350 known species of turtles alive today are found on every continent, except Antarctica. But despite their wide distribution, most turtles are endangered due to loss of habitat, illegal wildlife trade, hunting, and fishing. World Turtle Day aims to change that by raising awareness about their plight and encouraging conservation efforts. So today, we invite you to stick your neck out for turtles.
Turtle Wikipedia – paraphrased
Turtles belong to the Chelonia or Testudines order of reptiles. They are distinguished by a bony or cartilaginous shield formed from their ribs. The word “turtle” is often used to refer to both freshwater and sea-dwelling Testudines. Extant (living) and extinct species of testudines are included. Its earliest representatives were discovered in the Middle Jurassic. Turtles are one of the oldest reptile families, dating back further than snakes and crocodiles. Any of the 360 extant species are critically endangered. Turtles are ectotherms, or cold-blooded animals, which means their internal temperature changes depending on their surroundings. Leatherback sea turtles, on the other hand, have a body temperature that is slightly higher than that of the ambient water due to their high metabolic rate. Turtles, among other reptiles, birds, and mammals, are known as amniotes. Turtles, like other amniotes, breathe air and do not lay eggs underwater, despite the fact that many species live in or near water.
|Image 2||Britanica, E., (2014) Scientists classify turtles in the order Testudines.. [ONLINE]. Available at: https://cdn.britannica.com/62/99062-050-C3752373.jpg [Accessed 24 April 2021].|
|reference 2||Wikipedia. 2021. Turtle. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtle. [Accessed 24 April 2021].|