Turtles have been living on earth since 220 million years and have an amazingly long lifespan of upto 150 years. These harmless cute creatures have mysteries seeped deep within them. Discover more about them with these ten weird facts.
1. A turtle’s shell is made up of 50 different bones
Generally believed to be one whole, the shell is actually made of multiple bones. It is kind of like an external rib cage formed with the fusion of ribs and the vertebrae.
2. When the turtles pull their head out of its shell, its column is bent in an unimaginable way
3. Turtle shell does get hurt
It does not always act as an armor as usually believed. Turtles have nerves in their shell and like any other bone, it can get fractured and catch diseases.
4. The largest sea turtle weighed 2200 kilograms
The largest sea turtle was the Archelon which weight 2200 kilograms. Now extinct species lived during the upper cretaceous period, 75 million to 65 million years ago.
5. The sex of a sea turtle is determined by the temperature of its nest
Warmer temperatures create female turtles and cold temperatures create male turtles. The threshold temperature is about 81 to 87 Fahrenheit. If the temperature is between 81 and 87, the sex of the turtle will be both male and female.
6. Turtles can swim for hours without getting tired
In fact, some turtle species can swim for thousands of kilometers in a go. For example, the Caguama turtle swims for more than 12,800 kilometers from the coast of Japan through the entire Pacific Ocean to reach the Mexican coast, where it feeds itself. It returns to Japan again for mating.
7. They aren’t really all that slow
They are among the fastest reptiles and can move with speeds of 35 kilometers per hour.
8. They expel extra salt by crying
Though its not actually tears of sadness, but they use tears as the means to expel extra salt from their body.
9. They can live without food for many days
Turtles do this by slowing down their metabolism and can survive for months without eating anything.
10. The largest turtle species is the leatherback
The leatherback sea turtle is the largest of all living turtles and is the fourth-heaviest reptile only behind three crocodilians. They can weight 250 to 700 kg and measure 1–1.75 m in length.
11. Some species are not as innocent as you might expect
The alligator snapping turtle differs when it comes to the harmless nature of turtles. If feeling threatened, the alligator snapping turtle can chop your fingers off.