Secret of their survival? - They go inside their shell for a long time and THINK. Then, they ACT. Or rather, don't.
Turtles are old species. How old? They existed before mammals, birds, crocodiles and lizards... some say even before the dinosaurs themselves, well into the Triassic period (more info). They survived Triassic–Jurassic and Cretaceous–Tertiary extinctions (while also learning to retract their heads into shells) and are holding their own very nicely today.
Baby turtles are perhaps the most adorable baby reptiles. Here is an albino turtle born in Brazil:
From tender young age, turtles grow old - up to 255 years old. Can you stand the weight of this gaze? This turtle knows something about life:
Turtles display all sorts of emotion; from being curious, to being sad:
Perhaps little-known fact is that turtles are very sensitive creatures. They have great eyesight, wonderful sense of smell, good hearing and even extensive sense of touch (even their shells contains nerve endings)!
Alligator Snapping Turtle lives up to its name (it also features camouflaged tongue which looks like a worm - to lure in some hungry fish, and then... CHOMP!) -
Snake Neck Turtle (also called Eastern Long-necked Turtle) looks like a broken creature, but it is perfectly fine. It is also a known "stinker" as it emits an offensive smelling fluid from its musk glands when threatened:
Once upon a time there was an Aldabra Giant Tortoise called Adwaita. This mighty male of the species died in 2005, living to be 255 years old! - one of the oldest living animals in the world (outside of 400 year old mollusks).
Aldabra tortoise live mainly on the islands of the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, but there is a much better known variety of this giants. These are the Galapagos tortoise, reaching weights of over 400 kg and lengths of almost 2 meters! Riding them must be thrilling, though rather slow-paced fun:
You can see many turtles varieties in the Royal Tyrell Museum in Canada:
Turtle's Shell Plates are composed of skin. Lots of it.
The shell of a turtle consist of 60 different bones all joined together (forming top carapace and bottom plastron). The pattern on the shell is due to the fact that turtles only molt in patches, not discarding the whole skin like snakes do.
When seen as a cross-section, the turtle skeleten is largely empty inside:
So, how do turtles breathe, then? They can not expand and contract their shells;
"The rigid shell means turtles cannot breathe as other reptiles do, by changing the volume of their chest cavity via expansion and contraction of the ribs. Instead, turtles breathe in two ways. First, they employ buccal pumping, pulling air into their mouth, then pushing it into the lungs via oscillations of the floor of the throat. Secondly, by contracting the abdominal muscles that cover the posterior opening of the shell, the internal volume of the shell increases, drawing air into the lungs, allowing these muscles to function in much the same way as the mammalian diaphragm."
This pre-historic turtle skeleton makes you wonder how this creature looked in actual life (well, no, this is a piece of art, made by "creator of things that should not be"):
"Dark Roasted Blend" - All Kinds of Weird and Wonderful Things, Discovered Daily!"
DRB is a top-ranked and respected source for the best in art, travel and fascinating technology, with a highly visual presentation. Our in-depth articles in many categories make DRB a highly visual online magazine, bringing you quality entertainment every time you open your "feed" reader or visit our site - About DRB