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Punk Rock Mary River Turtle

The Mary River Turtle is only found in the Mary River of south east Queensland, Australia. Despite the fact that it’s one of Australia’s largest freshwater turtles, it only received official scientific recognition in the 90s.

Sprouts of green algae grow over its head and shell creating their adorable punk-rock look. The growing algae collects on the shell and forms a disguise which helps them conceal from predators.

Another super interesting thing about the Mary River Turtle is that it breathes through “cloaca” while they’re underwater. Cloaca is a method of bimodal respiration, done through the turtles genitals which are responsible for excretion and mating.

Because of this, they can breathe underwater for up to three days at a time! Experts believe that this is the reason the turtle went undetected until 1994.

The Mary River Turtle is one Australia’s biggest turtle species. They also have a super long tail for a turtle, long barbels under their mandible, and the largest hind feet of all the species within that particular catchment. Because of this, they’re also the fastest swimming turtles!

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