A sea turtle’s life begins in darkness. After about 60 days of incubation inside their eggs, turtle hatchlings use a temporary tooth called a caruncle to break out of their shells.
TURTLES! A section of the montage that's being prepared for the Tet Zoo Big Book (larger version viewable at my patreon). Image in-prep, by Darren Naish.
An international team of scientists has succeeded in artificially inseminating the last female Yangtze giant softshell turtle. Will babies be far behind?
She: “What are you writing about?” Me: “Cognition in cold-blooded animals.” She: “Hot.” Most people who study cognition focus on mammals or birds.
In a further effort to relieve Turtle Guilt (see the previous turtle-themed Tet Zoo article), I give you the following article devoted wholly to kinosternids, an exclusively American group of about 25 species of seemingly mundane and unspectacular turtles.
Alligator snapping turtles look pretty intimidating. These massive, prehistoric-looking reptiles can reach more than 66 centimeters in length and weigh more than 100 kilograms.
At first glance, most eyes look the same. There’s a small opening through which light passes. That light goes through the transparent liquid behind the lens and strikes the retina, a thin film of light-sensitive nerve cells that line the back of the eye.
Few reptiles can breathe underwater. Australia is home to one of the exceptions, the white-throated snapping turtle (Elseya albagula), which can extract oxygen from water through its backside via a process called cloacal respiration.
Imagine living underground for six years waiting for water. That might seem like a challenge, but it’s just a normal part of the life cycle for the African helmeted terrapin.
I have had extensive turtle guilt of late - that is, there just haven't been enough turtles on Tet Zoo for a while… by which I mean, there haven't been any.