10 interesting facts about turtles
1. Turtles – the oldest of the modern reptiles. It is believed that they originated directly from the ancestors of all reptiles, cotilosaurs, almost 300 million years ago. Found a huge amount of fossil turtles, the largest of which was miolaniya, about 5 m long with a huge tail, spiky-seated, and long horns on the head.
2. In Russian, the word “turtle” appeared no later than the end of the XVII century. Etymologically, it refers to the group of the words “skull”, “shard”, “tile”. All these words probably united one quality – hardness.
3. At present, there are 230 species of turtles in 12 families in the world: Sea, Cayman, Bog Puddle, Three-Bottom, Mud, Ground, Asian Freshwater, Freshwater, Two Serpentine Types, Pelomeduzovye, and Tarabidae.
4. The black ivory (Galapagos) turtle is the largest of all modern turtles: its enormous shell reaches 110 cm in length and 60 cm in height. The weight of adult specimens can reach 400 kg.
The smallest is the Cape Turtle, its body length is 11 centimeters, and its weight is only 214 grams.
5. The speed of land turtles is small and averages 700-800 meters per hour. The semi-aquatic turtles move faster on land. For example, a red-eared turtle can reach speeds on land up to 15 km / h.
The greatest speed of movement in water belongs to the leatherback turtle and reaches 35 km / h.
6. Turtles can fall into both hibernation and hibernation. The Mediterranean, Central Asian, Hermann’s tortoise and the dentate tortoise fall into hibernation. In the summer hibernation tortoises fall in the event of unbearable heat and burnout of vegetation, during a period of drought. It happens that their habitat dries up. Then they, in order to wait out unfavorable conditions, burrow into the ground. With a summer daze, the turtles “dry up”, that is, they lose a lot of water.
7. In different species of turtles in the clutch there are from several to 200 eggs. Newborn turtle can spend up to six months in hibernation, coming to the surface only the next spring after birth. The turtle shell usually hardens only a few months after they hatch.
8. Turtles grow throughout life. The life expectancy of turtles is on average from 50 to 150 years. The age of the turtle can be determined based on the number of rings on its shell. By the end of the second year of life of the tortoise, when the rings on the shell only appear, the number of newly formed rings can reach 6 pieces. In subsequent years, the growth of rings is 1.5 rings per year.
9. In general, turtles can be called omnivorous. Although, eating habits vary with the type. Someone uses more vegetable food, and someone – animal. The turtles do not have teeth, but their jaw edges are very sharp and can easily bite food. The turtles need daily nutrition, but adult turtles, having eaten well, can spend months, and perhaps even years, without food.
10. Many species of turtles are listed in the International Red Book. Of course, the main enemy of turtles is man. Unfortunately, their meat has excellent taste – and this is the main reason for the ruthless and cruel destruction of these defenseless animals. Another equally important factor is environmental pollution. Let’s value nature and take care of it!