From: Bonnie Metherell, ARKive.org , More from this Affiliate
Published May 23, 2011 08:02 AM

World Turtle Day!

Turtles and tortoises (members of the order Testudines) have been around for more than 200 million years! But with approximately 50% of all species considered threatened, never has there been a more apt time to celebrate these ancient beauties.

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How you celebrate World Turtle Day is entirely up to you. Whether it's donating money to a turtle charity, or donning your own homemade shell and swimming to work — so long as you’re highlighting the wondrousness of turtles then anything goes. To provide some inspiration for your celebrations, here are ARKive's top turtle facts just to prove how fantastic they really are!

From the biggest...

The leatherback turtle is the world's biggest turtle, with the largest recorded individual weighing a massive 916 kgs!

...to the smallest...

Weighing in at just 95-165g, the speckled cape tortoise is the world's smallest tortoise.

...to the oldest...

The oldest tortoise ever recorded was a radiated tortoise (photo) called Tu'i Malila who died in 1965 at the ripe old age of 188! So what's the key to the turtle's long lifespan? Genetic researchers are trying to find out by examining the turtle genome for longevity genes. Clever old turtles!!

Article continues: http://blog.arkive.org/2011/05/world-turtle-day/

Photo credit: http://www.arkive.org/

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