The World Turtle Day is observed on May 23 every year across the globe.
Celebration of the day is sponsored by a non-profit organization “American Tortoise Rescue (ATR)” since 2000.
The theme for 2021 is- ‘Turtle Rocks!’.
This day is observed with the following aim:
- To raise awareness among people about turtles and tortoises and their habitats
- To increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises,
- To encourage human action to help them survive and thrive.
- The day is considered among most effective of species awareness days which increases search for information on turtles online.
World Turtle Day was founded in the year 1990 by the American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) by husband and wife team Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson.
ATR is the founding sponsor of World Turtle Day. However, “WORLD TURTLE DAY” term was trademarked by Susan Tellem.
- Turtles are reptiles, characterized by a bony or cartilaginous shell or a carapace that developed from their ribs.
- Shell acts as a shield.
- Earliest known members of turtle dates back to Middle Jurassic.
- Thus, they are the oldest reptile groups even older than snakes or crocodiles.
- They are land-dwellers as well as amphibians.
- Largest sea turtle is “Leatherback turtle”.
- Tortoises are reptile species from the family Testudinidae.
- They are distinguished from turtles as they are exclusively land-dwelling.
- They also have a shell for protection from predation and other threats.
Note: There are a total of 300 species of turtles across the globe, out of which 129 species are endangered because of human interruptions. They come in all shapes and sizes, the bog turtle can be as small as 4-inches, while the leathery turtle can weigh over 1000 pounds.