The Mary River turtle may look like a ‘90s delinquent with a punk rock agenda, but it’s actually just a funny-looking Australian creature that has sadly been the victim of the pet trade and human disruption.
Last week, conservation group EDGE of Existence updated their list of species on the verge of extinction to include reptiles and the Mary River turtle unfortunately made the cut.
All the creatures that roam the Earth are incredibly special, but the Mary River turtle takes it up one notch; not only can it breathe through its genitals for up to three days in a row, but algae grows on its body to give it a very funky look.
Despite the fact that the Mary River turtle has been around for 40 million years and survived all sorts of incredible changes, a few decades of human assailment is killing it quickly and surely.
Other reptiles listed as facing extinction by EDGE include the Madagascar blind snake, a worm-like, pink snake that looks like a bizarre shoelace, and the pig-nosed turtle, a freshwater turtle that has the cutest little snout.
Although reptiles may not seem as relatable to us as mammals and don’t have as big a cute factor, protecting them is just as important for the well-being of our world’s eco-diversity. If you want to help the Mary River turtle overcome its endangered status and thrive in its habitat in Queensland, Australia again — or any of the many other species on the list — check how you can support EDGE here.