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ATP WEEKLY TURTLE BULLETIN
No. 53, 4th November 2012
2. China: Huge deposit of Jurassic turtle remains found in China
SOURCE: PHYS ORG; phys.org - DATE: 29th October 2012
1,800 fossilized mesa chelonia turtles from the Jurassic era were found in China's northwest province of Xinjiang. Today one of the world's driest regions, the findings suggest that 160 million years ago the region was a green place of lakes and rivers, bursting with life. It is believed that the turtles had gathered in one of the remaining waterholes during a very dry period, awaiting rain. Today's turtles in Australia for instance do the same thing. But for the Xinjiang turtles, the rain came too late. Many of the turtles were already dead and their bodies rotting. When the water arrived, it came with a vengeance: a river of mud, washing the turtles and sediments along with it and dumping them in one place, as the paleontologists read the site and its layers of stone. The large number of turtles allows the researchers to make a first statistical analysis of Asian turtles in the Jurassic period. Their simultaneous death and preservation makes it possible to compare variability, growth, and morphological differences among the species.
5. Andhra Pradesh district , India: Forest officials seize 400 smuggled turtles at Anakapalle
SOURCE: The Hindu Online; thehindu.com - DATE: 2nd November 2012
On Thursday, the 1st November an accident on the highway on the outskirts of Anakapalle town brought to light the illegal transport of more than 400 Indian flap shell turtles (Lissemys punctata), which are listed as a Schedule I species under the Indian Wild Life Protection Act, 1972. The turtles, packed in 39 gunny bags were placed underneath a load of fish in a van having West Bengal registration number. The van overturned while negotiating a curve and the load of fish and bags containing turtles fell out. The driver and cleaner of the van fled the scene. Traffic police collected the bags of turtles, some of which had crawled out, and sent them to Indira Gandhi Zoological Park. Forest officials suspect turtles are being smuggled to West Bengal from where they are sent to Thailand and Malaysia by sea due to huge demand for turtle meat and shells. “The flap shell turtles are also called mud turtles and found in ponds, tanks, and steams. The turtles, needing moisture all the time, have all survived that were recovered from the van. Rains during the last two days might have provided them the needed moisture,” said Zoo Park curator G. Ramlingam. After the court's permission and the turtles' recovery the zoo will release them into their natural habitat as early as possible.