Monday, September 8, 2008


The last of the mohawk turtle...

These pics are out of this world!

Amateur photographer Chris Van Wyk couldn’t believe his luck when he captured the Mary River Turtle on film while it was quietly wading in the Mary River near Kenilworth, Australia.

Some of the world's weirdest creatures exists in Australia, and the Mary River Tutle (Elusor macrurus) is not an exeption.

The seasonally variable Mary River is actually the last remaining habitat for several of the country’s endangered species.

The Mary River Tutle is a phenomenal specie and is one of Australia's largest type of freshwater turtle with specimens measuring in excess of 50 cm shell length.

In the 1960's and 1970's they were popular as pets in Australia, with about 15,000 sent to shops every year during a ten year period. They were originally known as the 'Pet shop' turtle

It’s the most unusual species in the world because it breathes through lung-like structures in their tail and they need shallow water to survive.

The neck has tubercles (small rounded bumps).

The main threatening factors to the survival of the Mary River turtle include slow maturation (20+ years), the continued use of historic nesting sites (even when nests are heavily predated by feral pests and trampled by livestock), loss of habitat and loss of specific foods associated with the lack of aquatic ecosystems.

Prior to the announcement of this, the Mary River Turtle was federally and internationally listed as endangered by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2000).

If you’re wondering… The green mohawk hairdo is just algae growing on the turtles’ head.

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