20 Stories

Vietnam Grieves Death of 'Legendary' Turtle

Cu Rua dies just as Communist Party meets

(Newser) - The death of a turtle has stirred much sadness and fear of the future in Vietnam—but this was no average turtle. Cu Rua, found dead Tuesday in a Hanoi lake, was a cultural and spiritual icon that represented the nation's independence, the New York Times reports. The 360-pound... More »

Look Out, New England: Invasive Asian Turtles Spotted

Chinese soft-shelled turtles 'could cause major changes in the ecosystem'

(Newser) - Chinese soft-shelled turtles are just little guys, between 7 and 15 inches long, but they're making waves in New England, where two of their number have been spotted recently on Massachusetts beaches, reports CBS Boston . Though considered endangered in their native eastern Asia, the "extraordinary-looking" critters are widely... More »

How the Turtle Got Its Shell

The 240M-year-old 'grandfather' turtle had no shell and a very long tail

(Newser) - For at least a century, scientists have puzzled over the turtle. Thanks to a gap in the fossil record between 260 million and 220 million years ago, it's unclear how the turtle got its shell and to whom it's most closely related. Now a fossil from 240 million... More »

Turkey Baster May Save Rare Turtle From the Brink

Scientists hope artificial insemination works for endangered Yangtze turtle

(Newser) - Scientists racing to save the Yangtze giant softshell turtle from extinction may have just taken a big step toward their goal. Just four of the freshwater turtles are known to exist—and only one of them, discovered in 2007, is female. After years of failed breeding with her 100-year-old male... More »

Hiker Stumbles Onto 90M-Year-Old Turtle

Experts then dig it up for museum display

(Newser) - What looked like a pile of weirdly gray rocks was actually something far more significant: a fossil dating back to the dinosaurs, the Las Cruces Sun-News reports. Jeff Dornbusch, a museum volunteer, noticed the gray mound while hiking in New Mexico's brown desert landscape more than ten years ago,... More »

Why Is Tortoise Sick? It Ate a Turtle Pendant

Vet gets a surprise with X-ray

(Newser) - What are the odds? The source of a sick tortoise's discomfort became clear after a south Florida veterinarian took an X-ray: The animal had swallowed a turtle pendant. Dr. Don Harris said the 15-pound male African spurred tortoise named Lola hadn't pooped for a month and began acting... More »

Second Half of Turtle Fossil Found 165 Years Later

Paleontologist makes surprising find in New Jersey stream bed

(Newser) - An amateur paleontologist hunting for shark teeth in a New Jersey stream bed found something a lot more interesting: one half of an arm bone from an ancient, massive sea turtle, reports the LA Times . The astonishing part is that the other half of the bone has been sitting in... More »

Zoo Welcomes 2-Headed Turtle

Thelma and Louise is healthy, spokesperson says

(Newser) - A two-headed turtle has hatched at the San Antonio Zoo. Name: Thelma and Louise. The female Texas cooter arrived June 18 and will go on display tomorrow at the zoo's Friedrich Aquarium. The turtle appears healthy and is able to swim and walk, and experts at the zoo don'... More »

1,600 Turtles Flee Georgia Farm

They made a break for it after fences stolen

(Newser) - Around 1,600 fugitive turtles are hiding out in ponds and creeks in northern Georgia after making a slow but deliberate getaway from a local farm. David Driver, one of only three turtle farmers in the state, says most of his turtles escaped after vandals or possible scrap metal thieves... More »

Vietnam Scrambles to Save Sacred Turtle

Hundred-year-old, giant turtle endangered by pollution

(Newser) - Hanoi residents crowded around a lake today to witness the military's rescue attempt of a sacred animal: a giant freshwater turtle thought to be up to 100 years old. The Rafeteus swinhoej in Hoan Kiem Lake is one of only four specimens known to be alive, and its 6-foot-long body... More »

Why Did the Turtle Cross the Road?

Reptile stops traffic on busy Boston road

(Newser) - A turtle trying to reach the safety of a riverbank literally stopped traffic yesterday in Boston, NBC affiliate WHDH reports . The elderly reptile strolled across a three-lane parkway at its own pace as some drivers stopped, some swerved, and two SUVs coasted right over the top of its shell. The... More »

Despite Oil, Sea Turtles Released in Gulf

Dangers of captivity greater than danger of getting oiled

(Newser) - Federal biologists are releasing thousands of endangered Kemp's ridley baby sea turtles into the western Gulf of Mexico, betting that by the time the silver dollar-sized swimmers make it to the oil-fouled waters of the eastern Gulf, BP will have cleaned up its goopy mess. Texas has not been significantly... More »

Massive Gulf Turtle Rescue Launched

Tens of thousands of eggs being moved

(Newser) - Wildlife experts scrambling to save hatchlings from the Gulf oil spill have hatched the biggest turtle rescue effort in history. Tens of thousands of sea turtle eggs will be dug up from beaches along the Gulf coast and trucked to Florida's Atlantic coast, where they will be hatched in temperature-controlled... More »

Turtles Shut Down NYC Runway

(Newser) - Mating season came to a speedy end for some turtles who strayed onto a runway at New York's JFK airport yesterday, the New York Post reports. After a pilot told air control he had  run over some turtles on his way to take-off, wildlife workers shut down the runway for... More »

Asian Appetites Threaten Florida Turtles

Conservations warn that state's turtles are being eaten out of existence

(Newser) - Asia's insatiable appetite for turtles could be driving some US species to the brink of extinction, the Los Angeles Times reports. The region's newly affluent consumers are happy to shell out top dollar for the delicacy and with most native species already eaten, Florida's turtle exports are booming. Conservationists warn... More »

Name This Species—for a Fee

Purdue auctions rights on newly discovered bats, turtles to raise research cash

(Newser) - Purdue University has some recently discovered bats and turtles to name, and you can be the one to do it—if you’re willing to pony up some cash, the Chicago Tribune reports. The university is auctioning off naming rights to a number of species, planning to use the money... More »

Baby Turtles Go Out for Italian

(Newser) - Sixty baby turtles took Rome restaurant-goers by surprise when they showed up under a table, Reuters reports. The newly hatched creatures normally instinctively head toward the sea from their beach birthplace, but “they saw the artificial lights and took the wrong route,” said a wildlife conservator. “The... More »

Two-Wheeled Turtle Finds Love

Disabled Arava fitted with rear wheels

(Newser) - A turtle that lost the use of her hind legs has come out of her shell since being fitted with a set of rear wheels, reports AP. The 55-pound turtle, Arava, has even begun mating with an amorous male. The 10-year-old spurred tortoise was fitted with a customized skateboard by... More »

Turtle Assists in Pot Bust

Radio monitoring leads officials to marijuana patch

(Newser) - Agent 99, watch out: A 6-inch-long box turtle known as "No. 72” may want your job. Washington, DC, police recently got an assist from No. 72 in making a drug bust, the Washington Post reports. One of several turtles fitted with transmitters that allow National Park Service researchers to... More »

'Mythical' Giant Turtle Found in Vietnam

Animal, thought to be extinct, is the stuff of legend

(Newser) - A giant turtle thought to be extinct has been found in northern Vietnam, the AP reports. Scientists from the Cleveland Zoo discovered the Swinhoe's soft-shelled turtle when they followed up reports from villagers of a mythical creature living in a lake. Vietnamese legend tells of a huge turtle that helped... More »

20 Stories