Slow and steady may win the race, but on World Turtle Day, these animals are struggling to survive
Is there anything more harmless than a turtle? (Unless, I suppose, you’re a nice, leafy vegetable.) Turtles and tortoises—the main difference is that turtles dwell at least partially in water, while tortoises live exclusively on land—are slow-moving, peaceful animals whose main form of protection from the outside world is a hard shell. Not for nothing do we have the fable of the slow and steady tortoise winning the race. Turtles have existed in some form for more than 220 million years, outlasting their early contemporaries the dinosaurs. Long-lived turtles and tortoises are symbols of perseverance in the natural world.
Unfortunately, the rules of the race are changing. Turtles and tortoises are among the world’s most endangered vertebrates, with about half their more than 300 species threatened with extinction. Only primates—human beings expected—are at greater risk of being wiped off the planet. The threats are many. The animals are collected by traders, eaten in the wild and in fine restaurants, used as pets or for traditional medicine, and sometimes simply killed. The very adaptations that once made them so successful—their long adult life span and delayed sexual maturity—has made them vulnerable as the world around them changed, mostly thanks to human beings. Climate change threatens them as well—a recent study found that as the water warms, more and more sea turtle hatchlings are being born male, which could eventually make it impossible for the species to reproduce successfully.
A 2011 report from the Turtle Conservation Coalition makes it clear: we need to act now if we’re to save the turtles and the tortoises:
We are facing a turtle survival crisis unprecedented in its severity and risk. Humans are the problem, and must therefore also be the solution. Without concerted conservation action, many of the world’s turtles and tortoises will become extinct within the next few decades. It is now up to us to prevent the loss of these remarkable, unique jewels of evolution.
As we mark World Turtle Day on May 23, spare a thought for these armored but endangered creatures.
It was bound to happen sooner or later
Have you ever looked down at your gym shoes and thought, “If only my sneakers were plastered in pictures of yesterday’s Crab Cakes Egg Benedict… then I’d really be fashion forward.”
Adidas thought it would be a great idea to allow consumers to design their shoes with photos they’ve taken on Instagram — finally combining the world of food porn and footwear. By using the adidas Photo Print App, people can print and paste photos on their ZX Flux shoes. And while while adidas suggests buyers slap on their pictures of hamburgers, cherry blossoms and giant rock formations, we have a more hip and with it list of Instagram suggestions: a friend doing duck face, your hot dog legs at the beach, or a very self-aware shot of a circle of your friends’ shoes.
It seems like you can turn an Instagram photo into just about anything these days. There are even Instagram inspired marshmallows. Marshmallows! At least shoes are a more traditional choice. Can’t wait to gram the grammed shoes. Meta is so in right now.
It’s hard to imagine a world where Barbara Walters isn’t on television. After all, this is a woman who entered the news business (as a segment producer on NBC’s Today Show) in 1962 and has been on the air longer than many of her fans have been alive.
But, as she announced nearly a year ago, the groundbreaking journalist will retire from the small screen today after hosting one last episode of The View.
To celebrate her 50 years in television, we’ve assembled a gallery of images from her long and storied career.
From rocket launches to Conchita Wurst, here's a handful of photos to get your weekend started right
California officials have battled double the average number of blazes so far this year. This latest fire spurred the evacuation of 20,000 homes in and around San Diego
An exclusive look inside the museum due to open May 21 dedicated to preserving and memorializing the events of Sept. 11, 2001, as well as educating future generations about the tales of tragedy, bravery and recovery that emerged from that infamous day.
From rainbow-colored umbrellas to Miley Cyrus, here's a handful of photos to get your weekend started right
One of the senior engineers behind Nokia's pixel-packing Pureview cameras bids farewell to Nokia, hello to Apple
A senior engineer behind Nokia’s Pureview camera, a 41-megapixel behemoth that took smartphone imagery to new heights of crispness, has confirmed that he will be moving to Apple.
In a farewell tweet to the Nokia team, Ari Partinen wrote that he would “start a new chapter in Cupertino, California.” The move comes at a time of upheaval for Nokia as it completes a merger with Microsoft’s new mobile unit.
Nokia called Partinen its resident “camera expert” during a fashion photo shoot with one of his pixel-packing creations. Apple’s iPhone 5 currently packs a respectable 8 megapixel punch, a relative featherweight compared with Nokia’s Lumia 1020 smartphone.