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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...

Near Extinction: Turtle That Breathes Through Its Butt

In the right conditions, the white-throated snapping turtle can live to 100

(Newser) - The days of the white-throated snapping turtle (Elseya albagula) appear to be numbered, according to the Australian government, which has recently declared them critically endangered. If that isn't attention-grabbing enough, consider that the animal prompted a biologist to talk like this: "These turtles breathe out of their ass,...

Turtle Shells Predate Dinosaurs
 Turtle Shells Predate Dinosaurs 
study says

Turtle Shells Predate Dinosaurs

Research claims shell is 40 million years older than previously known

(Newser) - Turtles were crawling around in their body armor long before the time of the dinosaurs, or at least their ancestors were, according to new research found in Current Biology . Though it was previously believed the turtle shell began forming 220 million years ago, the study of an older ancestor—a...

Teen's Plan to Blow up Turtles Ends Very Badly

Cigar ash sets off bomb in his pocket

(Newser) - Karma wasted no time in living up to her reputation Saturday in Texas. Police say a 19-year-old man made a bomb with which he planned to "blow up turtles." Instead, as he carried it in his pocket on his way down to the bayou with a friend, he...

19% Reptiles at Risk of Extinction
 19% of Reptiles at 
 Risk of Extinction 
New Study

19% of Reptiles at Risk of Extinction

Study reviewed 1,500 species

(Newser) - Farming and logging are destroying the habitats of the world's reptiles, putting nearly one in five in danger of extinction, reports AFP . The new study—in which 200 experts examined 1,500 species of snakes, turtles, lizards, crocodiles, and other reptiles—claims to be the most comprehensive made of...

1,600 Turtles Flee Georgia Farm
 1,600 Turtles Flee Georgia Farm 

1,600 Turtles Flee Georgia Farm

They made a break for it after fences stolen

(Newser) - Around 1,600 fugitive turtles are hiding out in ponds and creeks in northern Georgia after making a slow but deliberate getaway from a local farm. David Driver, one of only three turtle farmers in the state, says most of his turtles escaped after vandals or possible scrap metal thieves...

Tortoises Break Up —After a Century Together

Bibi finally got sick of Poldi

(Newser) - They were together as a couple for more than a century until out of the blue, Bibi and Poldi—two giant Galápagos tortoises who live in an Austrian zoo—broke off their relationship. The split was anything but cordial, reports Der Spiegel . A belligerent Bibi bit off part of...

Randy Turtles Shut Down JFK Runway

Mating turtles cause shell of a problem

(Newser) - Apparently, nothing can stand in the way of a turtle's libido—not even a 747. Turtles crawling to breeding grounds across a tarmac at JFK airport have forced the shutdown of a runway several times this week, delaying flights, reports the New York Post . "Running over turtles is...

Despite Oil, Sea Turtles Released in Gulf

Dangers of captivity greater than danger of getting oiled

(Newser) - Federal biologists are releasing thousands of endangered Kemp's ridley baby sea turtles into the western Gulf of Mexico, betting that by the time the silver dollar-sized swimmers make it to the oil-fouled waters of the eastern Gulf, BP will have cleaned up its goopy mess. Texas has not been significantly...

Dead Turtles Washing Up Near Gulf Spill

Experts suspect slick is to blame

(Newser) - Dozens of dead sea turtles have washed up along the Mississippi coast over the last couple of days and wildlife officials fear the endangered creatures are among the oil spill's first victims. Necropsies on 5 of the turtles have so far turned up no evidence of oil contamination, although experts,...

Asian Appetites Threaten Florida Turtles

Conservations warn that state's turtles are being eaten out of existence

(Newser) - Asia's insatiable appetite for turtles could be driving some US species to the brink of extinction, the Los Angeles Times reports. The region's newly affluent consumers are happy to shell out top dollar for the delicacy and with most native species already eaten, Florida's turtle exports are booming. Conservationists warn...

Stolen Turtle Is Double Loss
 Stolen Turtle Is Double Loss 

Stolen Turtle Is Double Loss

Brooklyn pet-store owner offers $1K reward for animal with little chance to survive wild

(Newser) - A Brooklyn pet-store owner knew he would be dismissed as a crank when he called the cops, but did it anyway—to report the disappearance of a two-headed turtle. The turtle, so popular with the neighborhood kids it was kept in a store window, was rare and requires special treatment....

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