Tuesday, December 15, 2009
IRWIN´S TURTLE: ELSEYA IRWINI.
Species: Elseya Irwini.
Irwin´s turtle, (Elseya Irwini), is a new species of Australian turtle. The female of the species has a pale head with a yellowish horny sheath on the crowns. It was named after its co-discoverer, famed zoologist and TV personality, Steve Irwin.
Steve Irwin´s father, Bob Irwin, first caught the animal on a fishing line during a family camp ride in 1997. They had never seen it before. Steve Irwin took pictures and sent them to turtle-expert John Cann who verified that it was indeed a new species. This species of turtle, like some other turtles, can breathe underwater by taking water into its cloaca.
It is able to breath underwater for extended periods of time because it possesses the unusual ability to intake water into its cloaca, which contains a special organ to extract oxygen. Irwin´s turtle has been determined to be noctidiurnal.
The Elseya Irwini is a species of turtles facing extinction.
Environmental Scientists state that there are around 4000 to 5000 examples left in the wild today. Researchers caught 82 turtles of which only 5 had been juveniles. This fact may indicate a threat to the future species; when the older generation dies, there may not be enough young ones to replace them.
Indeed, Irwin´s turtle is unique, as it was Steve Irwin.
Thank you in advance for reading!!