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Turtles (Testudines) are an order of reptiles characterized by a shell that protects the so-called soft parts and consists of two suborders: hidden-necked turtles and side-necked turtles. In animated movies, they are often portrayed as slow-moving creatures, but is that really the case? Here are ten facts you should know about one of the world’s oldest reptiles!

Didn’t get a name – got eaten instead…

It took over 300 years before the turtle actually received a scientific name. The reason is ridiculously alarming: no “samples” could be sent to Europe because sailors ate them along the way due to their exotic taste. Even Charles Darwin had turtles on his boat – which were also consumed.

Saved by technology…

A turtle was severely injured in a forest fire to the point where its shell couldn’t be salvaged. Researchers saved the little creature’s life by 3D printing an entirely new shell. Then, a Brazilian artist spent over 50 hours painting the shell to resemble its natural environment. See the image below. [source]

A turtle was severely injured in a forest fire to the point where its shell couldn’t be salvaged. Researchers saved the little creature’s life by 3D printing an entirely new shell. Then, a Brazilian artist spent over 50 hours painting the shell to resemble its natural environment. See the image below.

Provided sound in a famous film…

The scream of the Velociraptor in the now cult-favorite movie Jurassic Park was actually a recording of turtles mating. [source]

Turtle adopted a baby hippo…

A 130-year-old turtle named Owen adopted a baby hippo after the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004. [source]

A 130-year-old turtle named Owen adopted a baby hippo after the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004.

Warship had a turtle as a mascot…

Timothy, the turtle who served as the mascot on the British warship HMS Queen during the bombardment of Sevastopol in 1854, was the sole surviving witness of the Crimean War (1853-1856) until his death in 2004. [source]

Saved turtles by killing goats…

To save the endangered Galapagos tortoise species (Chelonoidis nigra) on the Galapagos Islands, professional hunters from New Zealand were transported to eliminate over 100,000 goats from helicopters. [source]

Hard to outrun the police…

In animated films, it’s not uncommon for turtles to be depicted as extremely slow – and to some extent, it’s true. A land turtle typically moves incredibly slowly, with a top speed of about 1.6 km/h (1 mph). [source]

In animated films, it’s not uncommon for turtles to be depicted as extremely slow – and to some extent, it’s true. A land turtle typically moves incredibly slowly, with a top speed of about 1.6 km/h (1 mph).

Around the moon and back…

A pair of turtles has traveled farther into space than any human ever has. They circled the moon aboard the spacecraft Zond 5 before returning to Earth. Both turtles survived the journey. [source]

Feel free to pet, but be careful…

A turtle’s shell is not as sensitive as its skin, but they can definitely feel touch, according to researchers. Scientists have also discovered that they don’t completely dislike when their shell is touched; they often enjoy a little scratching and petting. [source]

A turtle’s shell is not as sensitive as its skin, but they can definitely feel touch, according to researchers. Scientists have also discovered that they don’t completely dislike when their shell is touched; they often enjoy a little scratching and petting.

Vibrator can help with constipation…

If you have a constipated turtle at home and have no idea how to help it, here’s a good tip: tape a vibrator to its stomach. Research has shown that the vibrations of the vibrator help relieve constipation in turtles. Then you can also brag to your friends that you share a vibrator with a turtle! [source]


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