Green-haired turtle that breathes through its genitals added to endangered list

The Round Island keel-scaled boa

The Round Island keel-scaled boa

The list uses a complex formula to highlight species that are particularly Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE), providing wildlife scientists worldwide with a scientifically rigorous way of focusing their conservation efforts.

The turtle's placement on the list has triggered calls for better protection of the turtle.

But it is also now officially among the most endangered reptiles in the world, ranked the 29th most likely to go extinct by the Zoological Society of London.

This odd species, whose closest relative on the Tree of Life was declared extinct less than 30 years ago, can change colour over a 24-hour period and is also the only vertebrate with a joint in its upper jaw, used to capture and eat its lizard prey.

"Parts of the Mary River catchment have been cleared and heavily grazed, and on these reaches of the river, the turtle is threatened by the effects of increased runoff, siltation and pollution", the Queensland agency said.

Among other things, some of these turtles even have incredibly long tails, which grows up to 70 percent longer than their shells at times, while a few others have a weird green hairdo.

Unfortunately, it is also one of the most endangered species on Earth.

The short-necked turtle is quite large, with some adult specimens growing to be more than 50cm.

Australian Mary River Turtle which has been categorised as an ‪endangered species‬‬.

All this might sound interesting, but it's worth noting these unique looks and freaky features are also the cause of Mary River turtle's downfall.

The Mary River Turtle lives in well-oxygenated, flowing sections of streams. Back in the '90s, when a Sydney turtle enthusiast rediscovered the species in Queensland, experts classified it as new. They survived millions of years and to see them go extinct now would be a awful shame. Then along came the pigs and foxes, and on top of the native predators and people - that's what has made them endangered, ' he said.

Also high on the list is the Minute Leaf chameleon (Brookesia minima), from Madagascar, which measures just three centimetres, and the Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus), a slender-snouted fish-eating crocodile.

Established in 2007, EDGE lists have previously been published for amphibians, birds, corals and mammals, helping to guide conservation priorities for the most at-risk species.

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