Turtles Can Live Forever
Turtles Don't Get Old
This is rather old news, but I am very surprised at the amount of people unaware of the fact that turtles don't age. What is aging? Aging is defined as the deterioration of one's organs. As one gets older, his/her heart, kidney, lungs, liver, etc. begin to deteriorate until they no longer work. Turtles, unlike humans, do not experience this deterioration. An article from the New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/12/science/12turt.html, tells us that "turtles don't really die of old age...In fact, if turtles didn’t get eaten, crushed by an automobile or fall prey to a disease, they might just live indefinitely." This is shocking. Never before have we found an animal that shares this capibility of indefinite living. With this information, scientists could look foor the specific gene(s) that grant turtles this amazing ability. They could then use that information to try to give humans the same ability.
Don't Believe Me?
If you are still skeptical, feel free to look at that New York Times article which states the following: "Dr. Christopher J. Raxworthy, the associate curator of herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History,
says the liver, lungs and kidneys of a centenarian turtle are virtually
indistinguishable from those of its teenage counterpart, a Ponce de
Leonic quality that has inspired investigators to begin examining the
turtle genome for novel longevity genes." Plus, "Last March, a giant tortoise named Adwaita said to be as old as 250 years died in a Calcutta zoo." Is this amazing or what? Imagine if you could live for an astonishing 250 years. Even with all this information, though, people are still killing turtles all over the world. In many Asian countries, thousands of turtles are killed every single day. This is very sad knowing that such a scientifically valuable animal is dying only to become somebody's meal or a decoration on a wall. We need to preserve these animals that could help us advance dramatically. Just remember, every time you shorten a turtle's life, you could be doing the same to your own.