turtles are the definition of unique, especially when it comes to
This is a Chinese Softshell (Pelodiscus sinensis). There are
around 30~ species of softshell turtles, some of which are among the
largest species of turtles in the world!
They are, of course,
characterized by their soft, fleshy back and almost entire lack of the
bony, ceratin shell that most turtles and tortoises are
known for. Most species of softshell turtle have a long, narrow snout
that they use as a snorkel to stay submerged in water while getting a
quick breath of air. This is because, though lacking a protective shell,
without that extra weight they are incredibly fast and agile, on land
and especially in the water.
Despite this, many species of softshell
turtle are facing extinction due mainly to the global consumption of
them as well as rampant habitat destruction. The world’s most endangered
species of turtle is also a softshell from China, the Yangtze Giant
Softshell (Rafetus swinhoei) . These animals are so unique, and it is
our mission to protect each weird, wonderful, beautiful one.