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Mary River Turtle: Punk rock turtle who can breathe for 72 hours underwater

The Mary River Turtle is a remarkable creature for two main reasons.

It possesses specialized glands on its bottom that allow it to stay underwater for 72 hours—yes, it breathes through its genitals—two, the animal sports an algae-infused mohawk.

Named one of the world’s most vulnerable reptiles, the turtle lives in Mary River streams in southeastern Queensland, Australia. It uses the algae growing on its shell to camouflage itself from predators.

“We need to be a little bit more tortoise-y and a little less hare-ish,” best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell once said. While his message encourages people to slow down in this hyperspeed era, perhaps we need a little more punk in our lives too.

Rock on!

The Mary River Turtle
The Mary River Turtle
The Mary River Turtle
Photos: Chris Van Wyk

Of course, there’s always one band member who sports the bowl haircut (re Ringo of the Beatles). Here’s the Mary River turtle with algae strands on its body.

Photo: Chris Van Wyk