Why Is Tortoise Pronounced So Differently In American Vs British English – According to the World Wildlife Fund, the Galapagos giant tortoise is the largest living tortoise in the world. Unfortunately, they are threatened by livestock and introduced species on the islands that prey on the young turtles. ©Colby J. Brockvist
Although you probably haven’t celebrated it in the last 20 years, World Turtle Day is coming up on May 23rd. This annual event was created in 2002 by American Turtle Rescue to draw attention to the decline of these animals due to environmental hazards and human intervention. It is also hoped that this event will remind people of the joy of seeing turtles and turtles in the wild can be used to educate people and how we can protect the habitats of these reptiles.
Why Is Tortoise Pronounced So Differently In American Vs British English
– means that a reptile’s body is enclosed in a bony shell – but not all turtles are turtles. The main difference between turtles and tortoises is that tortoises are mostly found in water, while tortoises live only on land and live in deserts, grasslands, and moist and tropical forests. Turtles are simple and mostly flat-shelled and can live up to 40 years. In contrast, turtles have larger, more domed shells and live up to 100 years or more. A Seychelles giant tortoise named Jonathan is believed to have been born in 1832, making him 190 years old in 2022.
Slow And Steady Saves The Species
The extreme longevity of turtles always fascinates us humans. And according to a new study, we may have found the secret to their longevity. But another animal is starting to gain some traction for tapping into the fountain of youth: aging slows when yellow-bellied marmots go into hibernation.
One way to tell the difference between turtles and tortoises is where they live. Tortoises are mostly found in water, while tortoises live only on land, living in deserts, grasslands, and tropical rainforests. ©Colby J. Brockvist
Found that compared to other turtles, turtles have evolved extra copies of genes (called “duplications”) that can protect against the ravages of aging, including cancer.
Laboratory experiments in the cells of Galapagos giant tortoises show that the animals have developed such a defense. Specifically, the researchers tried to see how well the turtle cells resisted the pathways associated with aging. When subjected to such stress, the researchers found that the cells of these reptiles self-destruct much more easily than other turtle cells through a process.
Moby Dick And The Galápagos Tortoises
Destroying Glitch cells before they have a chance to form tumors could help giant tortoises avoid cancer.
These results are particularly surprising because you would expect the longest-living giant animals to have the highest rates of cancer. This is because larger, longer-lived organisms have more cells; And the more cells there are in the body, the more opportunities there are for cancerous mutations.
Turtle cells are highly sensitive to certain types of stress associated with damaged proteins. Stress can cause cells to kill themselves before they have a chance to develop diseases like cancer. ©Jenny Leigh
Hopefully, over time, we will better understand the biological processes that help large animals like the Galapagos tortoise to live long lives. This research may also have practical implications for humans. If we can identify how nature has done something—for example, how certain species have evolved defenses—we may somehow be able to translate those discoveries into things that will benefit human health, like medicine. that mimics how turtle cells work. .
Why Do Tortoises Live So Long? It’s The Shell
This type of research also highlights the value of conservation and why protecting biodiversity is so important. Many species probably hold many secrets to tackle major human challenges such as aging, cancer and even climate change. This study shows that even within turtles, different species look, act and function differently. Losing any of them to extinction would mean that a piece of unique biology would be lost to the world forever.
Another animal – the yellow-bellied marmot – solves the aging puzzle in another completely natural way: they hibernate from September to May each year.
Marmots spend more than half their lives hibernating. They enter their burrows in September to early October and do not re-emerge until the following April or May.
According to a team of biologists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), marmots are giant chipmunks that can practically stop the aging process in seven to eight months while hibernating in their underground burrows. Publishing their findings in the scientific journal Nature Ecology and Evolution in March 2022, the researchers said their study was the first to analyze the rate of aging in wild marmots, showing that this anti-aging phenomenon begins when the animals reach the age of two. : Age:
Sleeping On A Pallet
Working in Colorado, UCLA researchers studied 73 female yellow-bellied marmots, collecting and analyzing blood samples every two weeks during 14 active seasons. Chronological age of marmots was calculated from the date when juveniles first emerged from their natal burrows. The researchers then developed statistical models that allowed them to estimate what happened during hibernation.
Hibernation is an evolutionary adaptation that enables animals to survive in harsh seasonal environments with little or no food and very low temperatures. It is common in small mammals, such as marmots, native to the mountainous regions of southwestern Canada and the western United States.
When groundhogs are above ground during the summer season, they spend most of their time feeding on flowers, grasses, insects and even bird eggs to survive the upcoming hibernation period.
Marmot hibernation alternates between periods of metabolic suppression that last a week or two and brief periods of increased metabolism that usually last less than a day. During metabolic suppression, the marmot’s breathing slows and their body temperature drops dramatically, to the point where they feel stone cold and clammy. In addition, they use a minimal amount of energy and burn about a gram of fat per day – basically nothing for a 7 to 15 kilogram animal. This allows them to conserve energy and survive longer without food.
Stick Your Neck Out And Adopt A Desert Tortoise
However, during their active summer season, marmots eat a lot, doubling their weight in order to have enough fat to survive the coming hibernation period.
UCLA researchers assessed the marmots’ biological aging based on hundreds of chemical changes in their DNA, known as “epigenetic changes.” They found that epigenetic aging essentially gets stuck in a dormant state. It then grows in the active season, stops dormant, and continues to grow in the next active season. This process helps explain why the average lifespan of the yellow-bellied marmot is longer than expected based on the animal’s body weight.
In the future, marmots may lead the way to inducing hibernation in humans as part of a strategy to ensure the success of long-duration space missions.
These hibernation-related conditions — reduced food intake, lower body temperature and reduced metabolism — are known to counteract the aging process and promote longevity, researchers say. This delayed aging can occur in other hibernating mammals because the molecular and physiological changes are similar.
Tortoise Pronunciation: How To Pronounce Tortoise?
This research shows that inducing dormancy in humans or human cells may have biomedical benefits; For example, saving organs for transplantation or as part of long-duration space missions.
On World Turtle Day around the world, people dress up as turtles, wear green clothing or attend presentations on how we can help turtles and tortoises survive and thrive.
Our animal ancestry holds many medical secrets, including ones that may affect our lifespan. This is why reducing biodiversity loss is so important, not only for wildlife, but for us too.
I also learned that there is also an annual Groundhog Day which is held every year on February 2nd. It is an Alaskan holiday that became official in 2009 when the 26th Alaska State Legislature officially passed Senate Bill 58. A luncheon is a traditional part of the celebration and local newspapers report that “mushroom and ginger jokes are shared”. On that day, though, I don’t know if Alaskans dress like marmots.
The Tortoise And The Hare
But if once a year – say for a certain festival – you wear a cardboard shell on your back, fake fur or just appear in your human skin, I hope that one day in the near future you . I would take a moment to think of a turtle or a marmot and thank them for helping you and maybe your offspring will live a very long life.
An award-winning writer and author specializing in outdoor travel and environmental issues, Candice has traveled the world from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica and New Zealand to the far north of Scotland. Her assignments are just as varied, from covering the Yukon Quest dog sled race in Alaska to writing a story on the Galapagos Islands to describing and photographing the national snow sculpture competition in her former home state. of Wisconsin. In addition to being a five-time author, Candice’s work has appeared in several national and international publications, such as The Huffington Post and Outside Magazine Online.
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