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Australia’s ‘Punk Turtle’ Risks Being Last of the Mohicans

Australia’s Mary River Turtle―with its green Mohican-style hair and ability to breathe through its genitals―is one of the world’s most distinctive reptiles.

It is also now officially among the most endangered.

The “punk turtle” was this week ranked 29th on the Zoological Society of London’s Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered list, triggering calls for better protection of the reptile found in a remote part of Australia’s east coast.

“You have to go back about 50 million years to find a closely related species,” said Marilyn Connell, a researcher at Australia’s Charles Darwin University.

“It would be a failure if we let this animal that walked alongside dinosaurs become extinct”she said.