A Turn of Turtles

Turtles have lived on the earth for over 200 million years, at one time sharing the planet with dinosaurs. There are 331 species. The oldest recorded living turtle was a 188-year-old female tortoise from Madagascar. Females can store sperm in their bodies for up to four years. The temperature of the eggs determines the sex, with warmer climates producing females. Sea turtles use the earth’s magnetic field as a compass. Turtles have poor hearing but they have excellent vision and can even see color. The western painted turtle can freeze solid and be just fine when it thaws out.

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