Earth Platform > Animals > Marine Life > Turtles


turtleThe Turtle is an ancient species, represented in the fossil record as far back as 200 million years ago. There are approximately 270 species in the world occupying all continents except Antarctica. Of these, approximately half are in need of some form of conservation action because they are threatened with extinction. The threats to turtles are habitat destruction, pollution, disease, and overexploitation by an increasingly hungry world. In the face of this onslaught, turtles face a more insidious threat: predicted global increases in temperature caused by greenhouse gases.

Even if turtles survive the possible effects of global climate change, they will still have to contend with other predicted changes. As cold-blooded animals, digestion rate, growth, reproduction and activity are all closely related to temperature. In addition, changing water levels in lakes, rivers and wetlands, could have major impacts on access to suitable nest sites and habitat. Their conservative evolutionary history suggests that they will not be able to adapt to rapid changes. Turtles may have outlived the dinosaurs, but it remains to be seen if turtles can survive in the modern world.


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News about turtles

This Week in Sea Turtles

TWiST 5: Recovering Ridleys? - Hosts: Michael Coyne, Manjula Tiwari Manjula and Michael take advantage of the annual Board of DIrectors meeting of the International Sea Turtle Society at the National Conservation Training Center near Shepherdstown, West Virginia. This week we talk to Donna Shaver and Thane Wibbels about Kemp's ridley sea turtles and hopeful signs for their recovery.
TWiST 4: Sea Turtle Interns - Hosts: Michael Coyne, Matthew Godfrey Matthew and Michael are in the field satellite tagging sea turtles with the interns and island naturalist at the Bald Head Island Conservancy on Bald Head Island in North Carolina. Meet the interns and find out what they do.
TWiST 3: Manjula Goes to Jamursba Medi - Hosts: Michael Coyne, Matthew Godfrey and Manjula Tiwari Manjula goes to Indonesia and sends in a report from the field. Special guests Cruesa "Tetha" Hitipeuw of WWF Indonesia and Ricardo Tapilatu of the State University of Papua describe their work studying leatherback sea turtle nesting on Jamursba Medi beach, Irian Jaya, Indonesia.