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The Mary River turtle lives exclusively in the waters of the Mary River in south-east Queensland, Australia. Despite being one of Australia’s largest freshwater turtles, it gained scientific identification and classification less than thirty years ago. The Mary River turtle managed to avoid detection for so long possibly due to its extraordinary respiratory system that allows it to breath underwater, therefore seldom requiring to emerge out of the water for air. The turtle performs this unusual feat by breathing through its cloaca, an orifice used by reptiles for excretion and mating.

Mary River Turtle

Photo: Chris Van Wyk


© Amusing Planet, 2020.



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