Each year, 23 May marks World Turtle Day. And what better excuse (as if you ever needed one!) to celebrate the majesty of our leathery flippered friends?
© fugm10 (flickr)
Here at Greenpeace we're BIG fans of these graceful creatures. So we’re sharing some of our favourite photos and facts to mark the day.
Turtles are ancient...
© Greenpeace / Daniel M Ocampo
In fact, they’ve existed since before the time of the dinosaurs, with many species remaining virtually unchanged for millions of years.
...but you’d never be able to tell
© Mike Roberts
It’s pretty much impossible to determine a sea turtle’s age by appearance. It is thought that some can live to exceed 100 years.
They don’t have teeth
© Greenpeace / Marco Care
But their powerful jaws and beak enable them to feed on various types of food.
Nor do they have ears
© Paul Hilton / Greenpeace
Well not an outer ear anyway. However they can detect certain types of sounds. Some species have an ‘inner ear’.
Sea turtles are in danger (and they’re not happy about it)
We simply can’t imagine a world without turtles -- which is why it breaks our hearts that six of the world’s seven species of sea turtles are listed as either threatened or endangered.
According to Pawikan Conservation Center in the Philippines, marine turtles are now highly threatened for extinction-- mostly threats by human activities such as poaching, egg gathering, slaughter, illegal fishing and pollution.
But you can help protect them
Leatherback Turtle's Eggs in West Papua © Paul Hilton / Greenpeace
Let’s celebrate all the joy and wonders of these majestic creatures around the world! You can join in by doing these four simple things today:
- Tweeting about World Turtle Day using #TurtleDay
- Share your favorite turtle pics with us in the comments below
- Visit www.SaveTheReef.org.au to save the homes of turtles and our beautiful Great Barrier Reef.
- Become a storyteller of the seas through videos or photos www.StoriesOfTheSeas.org