Ancient-Looking Turtle May Know The Origins Of The Universe

Meeresschildkröte bei Eiablage, Pazifik, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexiko
© Matthias Scholz / CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Written by Sharon Parry

Updated: October 19, 2023

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Share with us your knowledge, oh wise one! Some animals just look as if they have been on earth forever and know the meaning of life itself – and this astonishing turtle is one of them. Captured in this amazing video, that has already been seen by over 24 million people, we watch this incredible creature move slowly and purposefully towards the camera as if they have something important they need to share with us. If only we could understand! But all we can do is look and marvel.

Check Out This Video of an Ancient Turtle!

Turtles and the History of the Earth

Turtles are an ancient species. These reptiles are found on all continents of the earth except for Antarctica. The group includes both tortoises and turtles and they can be found living in fresh and saltwater and on land.

Turtles have been on earth for hundreds of millions of years and have already survived several mass extinction events. No wonder this individual looks as if they have been through a tough time!

With origins in the Triassic Period (230 million years ago), their numbers increased rapidly during the Cretaceous period (beginning 145 million years ago).  But when the huge asteroid hit the earth at the end of this period, wiping out whole species including the dinosaurs, the turtle survived and then thrived! Their diversity increased and their numbers peaked over the following five million years.

What We Know About Turtles

Turtles’ ability to adapt to many different habitats is still apparent today.  Sea turtles have flippers that allow them to swim efficiently through water and have remarkable control over both their speed and direction. Whereas land-based turtles have adapted to be able to defend themselves from attack by withdrawing completely into their shells.

Some are solitary but others prefer to live in groups which are called bales or doles. There is also an astonishing range in size. The turtles that we like to keep as pets rarely grow bigger than 12 inches and many are more like 4 inches. On the other hand, the largest sea turtle can grow up to 15 feet long from head to tail! Turtles will eat foliage as well as worms, small insects, snails and even small fish.

There are many, many different species of turtle who all have slightly different appearances – some of which are quite eye-catching! These include the spiny hill turtle with a viciously spikyshell; theleatherback sea turtle with tough, rubbery skin instead of a shell and the wood turtle with a shell that looks like the growth rings on a tree.

We think the turtle in this video is weighing up the diver’s appearance too!

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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