The next Ninja Turtle? Green-haired turtle with unique ability added to endangered species list

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Cowabunga dude.

While striking in both appearance and ability, the Mary River turtle may not be the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, but it is now one of the most endangered species on the planet.

Little is known about the behavior or diet of the turtle, which boasts a green Mohawk coming from the top of its head and can breathe through its genitals.

Thanks to its funky appearance, the Mary River turtle has become quite popular on social media and YouTube.

However, it may not be with us for long. The unusual turtle was recently added to the list of most vulnerable reptile species by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), The Guardian recently reported.


It is also listed as an endangered species under Queensland's Nature Conservation Act 1992 and the 1999 Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, according to the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy.

Mary River turtles get their odd appearance from algae that grow on their body. It used to be a popular pet in Australia during the 1960s and 1970s, being given the monikers such as "penny turtle" or "pet shop turtle."

Since then, population numbers have dwindled dramatically.

Rikki Gumbs, a reptile biologist at ZSL, explained in a CNN interview that the turtles take a long time to mature, as much as 25 or 30 years.

"As their vulnerability was discovered late, we lost a whole generation due to the pet trade and now their population has become very small," he said.