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Last Female's Death Spells Doom for Huge Turtles

Yangtze giant softshell turtle may not be around much longer

(Newser) - The Yangtze giant softshell turtle was hit with a brutal blow, reports LiveScience , when the last known female of the largest known freshwater species, a huge creature over 5 feet long and weighing in at 205 pounds, was found dead on the banks of Hanoi's Dong Mo Lake on...

Baby Turtle Survives Treacherous 4K-Mile Swim

Croga, which means 'brave' in Irish, drifted far off course, from Miami to Ireland

(Newser) - A father taking a stroll with his two daughters along the Irish coastline stumbled across what one expert is now calling an "absolute miracle." The Irish Mirror reports that the family was walking on the shore of the northwestern Mullet Peninsula in County Mayo when they came across...

53 Species Aren't Mute After All

53 Species
Aren't Mute
After All
new study

53 Species Aren't Mute After All

Recordings show some turtles won't stop making noise

(Newser) - Turtles evolved millions of years ago and live in nearly every type of climate, according to Live Science , so it makes sense that they've have something to say. New research suggests they do, documenting noises made by 53 species—50 of them turtles—that had been thought to be...

Dozens of Dead Turtles Are Washing Up on This Beach

To blame? Plastics

(Newser) - The hawksbill sea turtle lay belly-up on the metal autopsy table, its shell ashen and stomach taut. A week ago, the adolescent turtle washed up on a beach in Kalba, a city on the east coast of the United Arab Emirates. Once unspoiled, the coast of mangrove trees is now...

After Ship Sinks, Dead Turtles With Throat Damage Wash Up

A dozen dolphins have been found dead as well

(Newser) - Nearly a hundred carcasses of turtles with throat and shell damage, as well as a dozen dead dolphins and a blue whale, have washed ashore in Sri Lanka since a container ship burned and sank , raising fears of a severe marine disaster. Ecologists believe the deaths were directly caused by...

After Oil Spill, Sea Turtles Are Fed Mayo as a Cure-All

It cleans their digestive tracts, say rescuers in Israel

(Newser) - When it comes to saving sea turtles, Israeli rescuers have discovered that mayonnaise is a miracle, per the AP . Employees at Israel's National Sea Turtle Rescue Center are treating endangered green sea turtles affected by a devastating oil spill that has coated Israel's coast with thick black tar....

Texans Are Rescuing Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles

Thousands have been brought to a convention center

(Newser) - Residents, some of whom lack heat or basic amenities in their own homes due to the unusually chilly weather, have been rescuing cold-stunned sea turtles and taking them to a convention center in a south Texas resort town. "Every 15 minutes or less there’s another truck or SUV...

With Tourists Gone, Record Number of Baby Turtles Hatch

In Mexican community, locals released 2,250-plus hatchlings into the sea; usually it's less than 1,000

(Newser) - The plight of the sea turtle in Mexico is so perilous that the country banned capturing and killing them 30 years ago. From late spring to early fall, one particularly vulnerable species lays its eggs on beaches throughout the nation, with nesting often disrupted by fishermen and tourists. This year,...

Fate of 'Map Turtles' May Hang on Feds' Decision

2 species in Mississippi and Louisiana will be considered for protection

(Newser) - The federal government says it will decide whether protection is needed for a freshwater turtle found only in Mississippi and a related species found in Mississippi and Louisiana, per the AP . The agreement settles a lawsuit filed in January calling for a declaration that Pearl River map turtles and Pascagoula...

Endangered Turtles Are Apparently Stolen From Zoo

They fetch high prices on the black market as pets

(Newser) - Endangered turtles that are in demand on the black market have vanished from a zoo in Japan. Officials assume the 64 turtles were stolen, the AFP reports. "We feed them twice a week, and a keeper noticed their number was clearly low," an official at the Okinawa Zoo...

Animal Rescue Group: We Need Your Old Bras

Rescue group in North Carolina says the fasteners can help mend broken turtle shells

(Newser) - A North Carolina animal rescue group is appealing to women not to throw out their old bras, but instead to send them—or at least the bra clasps—to their agency to help turtles with broken shells. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue of Charlotte is asking women through social media to remove...

There Were Only 4 of These Turtles Left. Now, 3

Last known female Yangtze softshell turtle dies at zoo in China

(Newser) - The only known female member of one of the world's rarest turtle species has died at a zoo in southern China, officials said Sunday. The animal was one of four Yangtze giant softshell turtles known to be remaining in the world. The Suzhou zoo, where the female turtle lived,...

Guy Abandons 1.5K Live Turtles at Airport

They were found in unclaimed suitcases

(Newser) - Customs officers at a Philippines airport got a surprise when they opened four abandoned suitcases: Inside were 1,529 live turtles and tortoises of assorted species, wrapped in duct tape, the BBC reports. They included rare and endangered species like star tortoises and sulcata tortoises. Officials estimate they could have...

Funky, Green-Haired Turtle Is in Trouble

Mary River Turtle of Australia is under threat of extinction

(Newser) - You'd think its punk-rock hair would be enough to bring an Australian turtle fans, even before they learn of its ability to breathe through its genitals. But if overlooked now, researchers hope the Mary River Turtle's spot on a list of unique, endangered reptiles will bring necessary attention...

'Endearing' Reason for Delays at JFK Airport

Dozens of migrating turtles

(Newser) - Bird strikes at New York City-area airports have been known to cause emergency landings, but a different type of creature kept some planes from even taking off this week, the AP reports. As part of their annual migration ritual, about 40 diamondback terrapin turtles emerged from Jamaica Bay Friday...

Feds Bust Man With 51 Turtles in His Pants

They spotted 'irregular bulges'

(Newser) - A Canadian man caught at a border crossing with 51 turtles taped to his body pleaded guilty Tuesday to smuggling or attempting to smuggle more than 1,000 of the reptiles out of southeastern Michigan. Kai Xu, 27, would order turtles online, travel to the US to pick them up,...

Giddy Tourists Stop Huge Turtle Army From Nesting

Olive ridley sea turtles are forced to turn back

(Newser) - A huge swarm of sea turtles emerged on the Costa Rican shore earlier this month to lay eggs, like they do every year. Only problem: Thousands of tourists were there too, getting in the way, prancing around for photos, and even placing their kids on the creatures' backs, Gizmodo reports....

Turtle Species on Brink as Artificial Insemination Fails

100-year-old would-be mom has more eggs on the way

(Newser) - Nearly eight dozen Infertile eggs disappointed researchers at the Turtle Survival Alliance this week—and could have serious consequences for an entire species. A female Yangtze giant softshell turtle at China’s Suzhou Zoo laid 89 eggs after being artificially inseminated , but none of them were viable, reports Scientific American...

How the Turtle Got Its Shell
 How the Turtle Got Its Shell 

How the Turtle Got Its Shell

The 240M-year-old 'grandfather' turtle had no shell and a very long tail

(Newser) - For at least a century, scientists have puzzled over the turtle. Thanks to a gap in the fossil record between 260 million and 220 million years ago, it's unclear how the turtle got its shell and to whom it's most closely related. Now a fossil from 240 million...

Turkey Baster May Save Rare Turtle From the Brink

Scientists hope artificial insemination works for endangered Yangtze turtle

(Newser) - Scientists racing to save the Yangtze giant softshell turtle from extinction may have just taken a big step toward their goal. Just four of the freshwater turtles are known to exist—and only one of them, discovered in 2007, is female. After years of failed breeding with her 100-year-old male...

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