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The (Punk Rock) animal of the day

© CHRIS VAN WYK

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Name : The Australian Mary River turtle has Elusor macrurus as its scientific name . It has a crest of seaweed on its shell, that’s why it’s commonly called the “punk rock turtle”

Habitat : This turtle lives exclusively in the fresh waters of Mary river, in south eastern Queensland, Australia in pools that are 1 to 4 m deep

Size : The average shell length at maturity is expected to be 23 cm for females and 31.5 cm for males, displaying an 8 kg mass

Way of life : The Mary River turtle can live 100 years and can’t breed until the age of twenty. they are mainly herbivorous, but may eat some animal flesh and usually eats filamentous algae

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THIS ANIMAL TO USE WHILE FLIRTING … OR NOT

This weird reptile indeed uses the same orifice to urinate and breed. Furthermore, this same organ, called the cloaca, allows it to breath through its back, which provides it with the ability to stay as long as three days underwater    

Because of it staying that long underwater, a crest of algae grows often on its shell, on its head or on other body’s sections, hence its name : “Punk Rock”

Unfortunately E.macrurus has been added to the ZLS’s (Zoological Society of London) list of threatened reptiles. It’s now considered as an “endangered “ animal referring to the UICN red list. In addition to being hunted for more than twenty years as a pet or for its eggs, the Mary river tortoise has seen its home being severely destroyed due to the construction of dams. 

« Just as with tigers, rhinos and elephants, it is vital we do our utmost to save these unique and too often overlooked animals » Rikki Gumbs

« so that the turtle could continue to enjoy the life offered by the evolution » Marilyn Connel 

Written and translated by Rim KAIS

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