World Turtle Day is celebrated every year on May 23. Where are the parades you ask? There aren’t any, which I think is an absolute shame. Could you imagine kids and fun-loving adults dressing up as pretty, glittery turtles? I can,
and what fun would that be?
BY ALANA KOROL
World Turtle Day is to bring recognition to the American Tortoise Rescue organization. People can donate money towards this nonprofit company, to help the many turtles who need our help. You can also volunteer for other organizations who promote turtle conservation and protection. World Turtle Day started in 1990, so the extinction of these beautiful sea creatures could be brought to light.
Almost 70% of the turtles that are alive today are on the endangered species list including seven species of sea turtles (which include the Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Green, and Leatherback Sea Turtles, Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles, among others). It also provides land turtles such as the Radiated Tortoise, the Saw-jawed Terrapin, the Ploughshare Tortoise, the Philippine Pond Turtle, the Flattened Musk Turtle, the Yellow-headed Box Turtle, McCord’s Box Turtle, Indochinese Box Turtle, Yellow Mud Turtle, Western Chicken Turtle, and Blanding’s Turtle. I had no idea there were this many variations of turtles. Growing up in Florida, I remember the one type and stupidly thought, there were only a couple of species.
Did you know there are differences in a turtle, tortoise, and terrapins? Me either but here’s what they are.
11 Facts About Turtles
- The upper shell of a turtle is called a carapace
- The lower shell of a turtle is called a plastron
- Sea Turtles have special glands which remove salt from their drinking water
- Green Sea Turtles can hold their breath up to 5 hours
- The Leatherback Sea Turtle can weigh over 2,000 pounds
- Leatherback Sea Turtles can travel over 10,000 miles a year
- Not all turtle species can hide their heads in their shells
- Turtles live mainly in water
- Tortoises live primarily to land
- Terrapins live both on land and in water
- Most turtles are omnivores